Difference between enabling, changing and manipulation

Reading all the not finished books on my long weekend got me again to "7 habits of highly effective people". The first pages I ran into a personally relevant question:

How to enable other people?


This may sound trivial but changing the perspective on how you enable  is something I wished to do earlier.

personal motive

Is there a way that your good will is causing problems? 
It is hard to believe, but at least I faced multiple situations where enabling was not received as help. Others felt an approach to change or manipulate them.


Change is an outcome of measuring somebody in unrelated dimensions. Like children "against social expectations". How good she or he behaves in comparison to other kids

(first chapter "Inside out - the personality and character ethics" - "7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen R. Covey) .


Manipulation in my point of view, is not fundamentally different then trying to change somebody.
I have experienced it as the change of a certain situation's outcome by influencing behavior of others.
Although this may not be a general definition;

in the end you measure the change in the dimension of your own personal benefit.


Enabling someone means to me demonstration of a solution to a problem without sacrificing the possibility of being understood if you face somebody from a different background and who may see the solution and problem in a different perspective. 
Additionally keeping space for improvements and personal related customization of that demonstrated solution.

In short to help somebody by enabling to use the demonstrated approach or technique*. Not in the first place forcing to solve it with that. 

It recently thought, it is measured in my perspective's dimension on how the someone I've enabled is capable to solve the problem with the tool I gave to her or him.

But reality hit hard and my personal learning is the following:
Truly enabling somebody means to give an opportunity to use a tool in somebody's own terms.
For instance:
I told my girlfriend to use LaTeX, because that's the way to do it at university. She continued with WORD.
Why? Because I was not enabling. I was manipulating her.

I wanted her to use it. Of course is it better suited, but in her perspective it wasn't.
So then I've showed how easily and beautiful you can render formulas. Since that, I am only assisting on her own discovery of functionality and workflows.

*A powerful tool could be to change a perspective though.





From that on I have been enjoying my girlfriend's journey. Every time I've truly enabled her, I saw completely new outcomes of a tool's usage.

Learning from her and seeing the positive impact she has with that on others is the dimension (in my opinion) you should measure enabling in.

keeping it real


After all I am curios whether I will agree or disagree with my standpoint in the future. Let me know, what you think about it. What's true though, I will continue reading today and can definitely recommend the book "7 habits of highly effective people".