Disclaimer: I am by no means a gardener...I am in fact what I consider; a "black thumb". Truth be told, a plant has recently been removed from my care, at work, to go to a better, more equipped home.
Luckily, I am going to write about metaphoric "seeds", and by seeds, I mean ideas. I have learned, through experiences and observations, that one CAN NOT force ideas on someone. It doesn't end well. If you over saturate a plant, it will die. So what do you do with those ideas that you wish to share with others? You plant seeds. You cultivate the environment. You water and you feed. You invest your time and energy, IF the soil is primed and ready for a change.
Every summer, I buy a basil plant, with high hopes that THIS summer will be the summer that it actually lives longer than a week. No such luck, I either saturate it or starve it. Either way, it doesn't flourish...it dies. This holds true with ideas. If we come on too strong, too forceful, we can turn someone off completely...not only to our ideas, but to new ideas in general. On the contrary, if we withhold ideas from others, we take away theirs AND our opportunities to grow. Ideas are precious and must be treated accordingly.
So, what if we have ideas, thoughts that we feel deeply about? Things that we feel would benefit others...what do we do with them? Is it better to do nothing or do something? Depends on the purpose, the intent. Sometimes, we have to just drop those seeds and walk away, the soil may not be ready...yet. But at least the ideas have been planted and something may sprout up. Other times, when the soil is ready, we drop those seeds and proceed with care.
1) Prep the soil. Start with knowing your audience. Feel them out, are they ready? How can you help to get them ready? Get to know your people. What makes them tick? What are their needs, wants? What is the best way to reach them? Will your idea help them to move forward?
2) Know your purpose. Is your intent simply to get YOUR ideas out there? Is this about you or them? If it is about you, you may want to retreat. Dead Basil Plant. If this is about them, make it about them. How will this "thing" benefit them. Here is where empathy is key. Put yourself in their shoes, look at things from their perspective.
3) Drop seeds. Don't come on too strong. Not too many seeds, not too much water. Do not over saturate, overkill. If you have done steps 1 and 2, you should know how and when to drop these seeds, water and feed.
4) Here is the hardest part. Wait. Give them time to take it in. Don't water too quickly. You will know what to do, because you have done the above. The person may reach out to you, that sprout may peek out. If you don't see anything growing after a week or so, this is when you can check in. Just a simple email, text, call, note. "Hey, how's it going? Given any thought to our discussion?". You will know by the response; if you get one; what the next move should be.
5) If you see a plant begin to grow, then you must pay attention to it. Water it, feed it, support it. There will be some people that will take an idea and run with it. Those are your Rosemary Plants. This does not mean you leave them be, they are not a cactus. They will just need a different kind of support.
6) If you see a plant start to wilt, you can decide. Do they want to move forward? If so, you plan accordingly. If they don't, it's ok. We need to respect that. Give them space. Those seeds have been planted.
Here is what I have found. This is where I think the magic happens. Often, we plant those seeds without even realizing it. Then one day, someone reaches out and lets you know. They let you know that what you said or what you did, made a difference. Even better, you hear that they have taken those seeds and passed them on to others. And they are now amazed that those seeds have grown. Although we won't often hear about these circumstances, it is happening, we just have to believe it. If we are passionate and feel strongly about spreading our ideas for good, we have to believe it.
Here is the other thing that is exciting...many times, cross-pollination occurs. Someone might take part of your idea and mix it with their idea. A new hybrid seed has been created and is ready to be planted.
So my advice: be patient, be kind, be thoughtful, be empathetic, be purposeful, be authentic and be supportive. You never know whose lives you are effecting.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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