Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen!

We tend to offer our help in a way that we want help, but not necessarily how the receiver wants the help. Ernesto Sirolli, founder of the Sirolli Institute, created an international non-profit institution that teaches this doctrine. It helps community leaders understand, establish, and maintain sustainable economic development projects, specializing in developing areas like Kenya and Ivory Coast and helping to start over 40,000 businesses.

“What you do is you shut up. You don’t just arrive with new ideas to impose on people. You don’t barrel forward with your own point of view. You get rid of your savior complex. You listen.”

To Sirolli, passion is the virtue. He believes that giving an idea is moot is a person lacks the drive to follow through with it. Instead, developing individual growth is much more valuable. Doing so helps people find the knowledge they need to succeed and ultimately fosters passion within themselves.

As an educator, the comparison between Sirolli’s non-profit management system and facilitating a classroom is novel. Just as he advocates, teachers must facilitate an environment whereby individual growth is developed and where students can find the explore the knowledge they need to succeed. Fostering an environment like this breeds passion, which can take the form of whatever the student desires.

Sirolli’s Ted Talk can be accessed here:

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