April 19, 2024


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Are You a Fixer or an Encourager? | Photo by Miikka Luotio on Unsplash

Lotty Dotty | Are you a Fixer or an Encourager? | When people come to us with their problems, we all have our ways of dealing with them. Some of us prefer to be the moral support of the person while they examine themselves for the solution, then give encouragement as they act on their decisions, whether it leads to positive or negative results. Then some of us would rather jump in and solve the situation for the individual, brainstorming on possible solutions right away.

There is no right or wrong with these two approaches; in fact, both are important, especially since it means being available to friends and colleagues in need. However, recognizing which type we tend to apply in our social connections is important since it could influence our relationships with our loved ones, friends, and coworkers. 

Here are some points to consider in deciding between these two methods of giving support to people.

Choosing to provide people with solutions to their concerns.

In general, men like to provide solutions to issues rather than just discuss them. A male’s tendency to be structured and rational makes him well-suited to conceiving strategies and working toward resolving issues and eliminating problems. We may call this type of approach as being the “fixer.”

When confronted with an issue, whether it be their own or someone else’s, most people desire to find a solution. There are a lot of folks that really could use and would appreciate your assistance. Although this kind of assistance isn’t always seen as empowering to the recipient, it’s often one of the necessities that the world would be grateful for.  If the situation calls for a fixer, take the plunge and offer solutions to the one sharing his concerns.  But it would also be good to temper a wealth of advice with a lot of compassionate listening.

Choosing to let people open up about their problems, and allowing them to figure out their own solutions.

Rather than trying to solve other people’s issues for them, an encourager helps them see the possibilities and work through them on their own. This comes naturally, even intuitively, among female friends when they share problems with each other.  As for men, they would sometimes open up and share their thoughts and experiences whether over a round of golf, a few beers, or in a structured mentorship group.  

When you feel that this is the best approach to take, remember to keep an open mind while you listen. Empathy takes first place, and it helps to make the other person know they are being heard by asking open-ended inquiries. Being an encourager may not directly lead to immediate resolutions to problems, but will surely build a deeper bond among the participants.

Most of us are comfortable switching between these two approaches, depending on the person we’re assisting and the nature of their needs. The process of figuring out how to choose which communication mode to utilize with different people comes with the path of introspection and personal growth.  Choose wisely and the rewards will be experienced both by you and the person whom you are dealing with.