I love to “build capability”. This is especially true in my volunteer work and how I choose volunteer assignments. It is the idea that we can help someone or an organization make sustainable improvements. We help build capability when we use our time and talents to help others gain new knowledge, skills or just confidence. Capability building is “teaching people to fish” and offering a long-term solution.
There are many ways to do this. Consider the context of helping teens become mature, responsible adults as you read.
- Mentoring or coaching or teaching. Mentors build people up and pull them toward their own dreams and goals with encouragement and advice. Mentors share their experiences to build (life) skills. They influence by being a role model.
- Problem solving support. This means not giving people the answer or owning the decision but helping them think through options or helping with a decision process.
- Systems. These could be personal systems for establishing a new habit, family systems for managing money or school or work systems for improving the effectiveness of a broken or critical process.
- Simply being there. Listening with empathy and quietly supporting in times of grief or distress can give someone the hope and encouragement to move forward with strength.
Adding value to people’s lives by building capability is part of my life purpose. It is my way of trying to make a difference. Can it be part of your Purpose too? We all have talents and (unique) strengths to share.