5 Types of People You Can't Help

One of the hardest parts of my job is coming back to a manager, leader, HR Director, or CEO to let them know I am not seeing signs that this individual is interested in changing. You can give them feedback, offer suggestions, advice, books, podcasts, and even let them know a change is needed and yet there’s no movement. 

If you want change more than they want change, it should give you PAUSE
If you find yourself in one of these sticky situations here’s a few watch points to consider.

1.     You can’t help people who don’t think they need it. 

You can’t create belief.  You can't create want. You can lead a horse to water but… Need I say more?


2.    You can’t help people who know they need it but don’t want it.

Consider someone with diabetes.  They know they are a diabetic. Their health continues to decline and yet there’s no action to adjust their diet. Like any change, you can only say and help to a certain degree and in the end they must make the change. 

3.     You can’t help people who don’t want it yet. 

We’ve all been in this place.  We know we need to adjust some part of our life, but maybe timing, or circumstances aren’t quite aligned.  We know we need to make adjustments, but maybe now is not the right time. 

4.     You can’t help people who don’t want it from you.

This might come as a shock to you, but you might actually be the WRONG person to help them! It’s often nothing personal, but a different voice might be needed in this situation.  

5.     You can’t help people who aren’t willing to do what it takes.

There’s a fine line between helping and enabling and it’s important to make sure you are actually empowering them vs enabling their habits so they continue.  

Ask yourself how much effort are you putting in vs them? 

Change is hard. Think of your own life changes you’ve tried to make or those on-going New Year’s Resolutions that never seem to get accomplished. 

Give yourself grace and understanding. No lasting change happens overnight, and it’s important to realize your co-worker’s change won’t happen instantly. 

Lead with empathy and when in doubt, remembering boundaries, realistic expectations, and firm accountability is always a good path forward in dealing with leaders who need to change. 

If you need more advice on team transformation and leadership change, reach out to me at the link below! 

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