Advocates, not Solutioneers

Sara Wachter-Boettcher on The Pastry Box Project today, emphasis mine:

Promising solutions to people in need, even people in crisis, may be immediately comforting, but it’s ultimately dishonest. […] I can give them the space to find their way, and the confidence that their way is worth finding. But their problems will never be mine to fix. […] Real change comes from within. There’s no outsourcing it, no papering it over, no substituting someone else’s efforts for internal ones. The world doesn’t need more solutioneers. It needs more advocates.

Sara is hitting the nail on its head so hard.

Looking back at my mixed IT/counseling career, I found that trying to fix others’ problems is not just logically impossible (because the fixer will become an integral part of the system), but practically impossible as well in many, if not most, cases.

Instead, facilitate. Be observant, and nudge. It’s the same with content as it is with people; systems can change by themselves, converge on a new attractor, if you let them.