Trying to change others vs. Modeling change

The other day, I stumbled upon this quote:
“Always start a relationship by asking: Do I have ulterior motives for wanting to relate to this person? Is my caring conditional? Am I planning to change the person? Do I need this person to help me make up for a deficiency in myself? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, leave the person alone. He or she is better off without you.” Leo Buscaglia

Really? I mean, really? So, what do I do if I am in a leading position? Is it not my job to change the other person to become a better employee, a better student, a better teammate? I mean, come on, they really need a little help to become better, and I can do that. The truth is: We cannot change the other person. If you are like me, and like most other human beings, you have probably tried in the past. My experience showed me that it takes a lot of energy from me, that it often leads to non-productive arguing and that results are not really that great. What the other person does is essentially none of our business. But wait, does this mean that we give up to shape the world? No, I don’t think so. It just means that we give up a non-productive approach in search for a better one.
There is our business, the others business and Gods business. There is actually only one business we can run: our own. If we try to mentally run others business, or Gods business, we are trying to run things outside of our control. And then who is running my business? Transformation and leadership is an inside-job. We change ourselves, then we model that change for others. If we allow others to connect deeply with us, we give them a chance to learn from us. Then they can see for themselves if what they see in us appeals to them and decide whether they want to copy that. When we try to change people, it is hard to meet people as they are. Only when people feel safe, they open up and become curious. And then we can build relationships where we can truly meet each other and where transformation can take place.
What is your approach to influencing others?

4 Replies to “Trying to change others vs. Modeling change”

  1. Hi Gabriel, great post very thought provoking, I’ve often found myself stumbling in this area. For me prayer has been most helpful in learning to keep myself out of other people’s business and God’s business. In prayer I have found the areas of myself that need work and by working on myself I’ve been able to leave other people’s business to them.

  2. Hi Gabriel,
    Over recent time you have asked a number of questions related to drawing specifically but to business generally. You wrote in one post: “A question to those of you who have experience in business. I would really appreciate your opinion. How would you recommend someone with a burning desire to build business but little knowledge to learn how to build and run a business?”

    If this question is still burning then I will send you via email several articles and presentations that summarize the business of online marketing.

    Reviewing your comments it is apparent that you have a passion for learning and teaching. YOu have mentioned a German-Chinese interest as well as teaching German to immigrants.

    The first requirements in business is to have a passion not for everything but for one specific thing. This is your niche market. You can do anything for which you have a passion but you cannot do everything all at once.

    I have some specific thoughts that might be helpful; if for example you wanted to use your skills to translate from English into German online courses on the specific of subjects that you need for your business. Then these translated courses could become a basis for earning revenues and it is in fact an online business.

    If this sounds like something that makes sense then I would refer you to websites like Udemy and Skillshare that have the very courses that you would need to begin a business given your level of experieince and interests. Just as the best book you can read is the one that you write so the best business to learn is the one that you begin.

    I can email you some specific articles, presentation and examples to see if there is an interest on your part.


    1. Hi John, thanks for your kind words. I would indeed be happy to stay in touch with you and learn from what you have learned so far. If you have any specific ressources to recommend I would highly appreciate it.

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