(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Some people resist being told. (You know who you are!) For them it grates, irritates, or seems demeaning. They’re not wrong, it’s just how they are.

Others, but not all, like to be informed. Brought up to speed, educated, enlightened and inspired are some other terms for being informed.

The difference between informed and told is in the attachment the deliverer has. If I’m telling you something, I want you to get it, understand it, change something or take some action based on what I’ve told you. In other words, I’m attached to having something happen.

When I inform you I release you from any requirement to do anything. That lack of attachment to an outcome radiates a different energy than does telling.

“I told you not to slam that door, didn’t I?” Versus, “Sales are up only marginally. What’s changed?” Totally different energy.

By the way, sometimes we resort to telling because it’s how we get a need met – to be in control, to be heard, to avoid a disaster. Telling is not a bad thing. Just be aware that when you do it, some people may push back.

On the other hand, informing is nearly always effective.


Coaching Point: What are you attached to that makes you want to tell instead of inform?


Copyright 2016 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.