Coaching insights 2

Coaching Insights (Volume 2) Are You Being Too Accommodating For Your Own Good?


I had the pleasure of starting a Coaching programme with a really lovely guy this week.

He said that he was really concerned.  He had always been a pretty mellow person but recently he had been feeling very stressed.  In fact, on one occasion he had literally had to get up and leave the office because he couldn’t handle being there anymore.

It didn’t take long to see what the problem was.

Essentially he was too nice!

I know that sounds like a dreadful thing to say.

However he told me story after story of how he was helping and supporting other people – his work colleagues, his wife, his friends – but this was clearly at the expense of his own mental health and sanity.

Yet he simply couldn’t see the issue.

He had been brought up to believe that helping others was a good thing to do, so he was doing it.

I shared with him Thomas-Kilmann’s Conflict Model which assesses your levels of assertiveness vs your levels of co-operativeness. He was sitting firmly in the accommodating conflict style.  Very low assertiveness; very high co-operativeness.  Thus he was putting everyone elses’ wants and needs above his own.

When he saw the model and we talked it through, the lightbulb came on!

Whilst on the face of it putting other people first seems like a lovely thing to do, unfortunately, if you always put other peoples’ wants and needs above your own, it becomes unsustainable.

Despite the fact you’re choosing to behave in this way, you actually end up resenting people for “taking liabilities”, for “being selfish”, for “using” you and so on.  It causes a lot of stress and tension in your life.

As ever it’s about balance.  Assert and value your own wants and needs as highly as you acknowledge and value others’ wants and needs.  That way you get a win-win!

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