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  • Sabine Mueller

Savior or Leader? A dilemma?

In transactional analysis (Eric Berne) a "savior" is attached to a nurturing parent state, where "I know what is best for you" and only I am able to help (save) you. While in my savior state, I can only see and address the other as "smaller" than me, in other terms as a victim. My actions are based on my conviction that I have to help, since I am stronger than the other and the other incapable of helping him/herself.

A recurrent and overlapping definition of leadership is to "motivate /influence a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal".

But how can I know if through my influence I am trying to "save" or to "lead" the other?

From a psychological perspective, I can only leave any psychological game if I consider myself and the other as an adult and thus as an equal. Meaning that no one is above or below the other. No one needs saving. And I am not the only person capable to help. More importantly, the wish and initiative for help should come from the other person. Otherwise, I am still in a parent-child dynamic with my friend/team/collegue/relative etc. And we keep each other prisoners in a relation where one is the problem and the other the solution.

As a leader, it may feel like I hold the (only) solution, and I am the best (and only) person to communicate it. More importantly, my intervention may sometimes feel essential to the success and evolution of the other/the team. But is it really?

When is our ego speaking and when our heart?

Actions based on ego (to show how great a leader we are) may cause as much damage as a leader not trusting the call of his heart to share his wisdom (in order to heal a situation).

Whoever you lead and which ever decisions you need to take, before you act ask yourself the following questions:

- Do I see the other just as great and wonderful as myself?

- Where does my impulse to help come from? My head or my heart?

- Am I motivated by fear or anger about the behaviour of others and its consequences? (most likely your acting from your ego)

- Am I motivated by true compassion for the situation and the wish to make things better? (you guessed it, that's coming from your heart ;-)

This world needs your light, your love and your contribution. There is no doubt. Let's all make sure we act from the right place.




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