OK, so, yesterday I determined I wanted to help others. Borrowing the deeply passionate call to action from Linda Cliatt-Wayman : “So What, Now What?” What am I going to do with this desire? Where do I start? Who do I help, and who do I not help? How can I help this someone? These, or similar questions often bounce through my mind when I consider taking action on some inspiring thought or idea. Let’s walk through these as a start to figuring this out, and add a Why to each.
1- So what? Now what? And Why?
I think this question is about overcoming challenges and making a decision to act. In the situation of helping others, I can embrace Dr. Ernesto Sirolli’s advice to help only those who ask for it. If someone comes to me with a challenge and needs my help, I can take a no excuses attitude to their problem: Determine the goal desired, listen to the perceived challenges impeding success, and suggest a course of action. If they pour on more excuses, I can use the pattern shifting slogan: “So What? Now What?” Go with the beliefs that the person needing help is stuck in a paradigm that requires a new perspective to change it. Tony Robbins often explains we are in ruts of our own making and have the power of getting out of them, sometimes we only need a little push. Assume the person in front of you will resist this change of mindset, and explain this abrupt question serves to kick open the door and allow in other possibilities. Now you can assure them you are working with them as a team towards the solution that works best for them.
2- Where do I start? And Why?
Well, we actually did start with the listening process. Listen to their needs, their wants, their fears, their strengths. Over the last few days I was worrying about what questions to ask people while assessing their needs. Why can’t it be as simple as asking them outright, what do you need? Then, I have to just shut up and listen! More questions will come from what they say. The goal is to determine what is truly needed, isn’t it? I’m so grateful that I actually remember much of what people tell me when I’m not concerned with remembering what people say to me. Confused? Well, I’ve often surprised myself that I can recall and bring up parts of what people share with me in subsequent conversations. These personal facts always come stronger when the person is in need and I am in the position to motivate or encourage. So, I both want and need to trust that I have an excellent and service oriented memory, and stop worrying so much about remembering every detail. I tend to remember what is important and I am able to share it when it’s needed.
3- Who do I help? And Why?
Simple, maybe… Help only those who ask for it. How many of us can recall situations where our well intended advice was clearly not wanted? When you think about those situations, you will discover it is usually in times when you weren’t asked for your opinion. So again, learn to shut up and listen. “God gave us two ears and one mouth…” you know rest of this saying. A person in real need will always find a way to ask for help. Granted, sometimes it may be so subtle that you either miss it, or make the incorrect assumption and blurt out advice. Remember, if you are in any kind of sales position, the person who decides for themselves that they need something is already more than half sold on the idea. So, let them ask.
4- Who do I not help? And Why?
See #3 again. Can you remember being at a gathering of any sort, where you are having a wonderful conversation with someone, and a third party blurts in suggestions over your complaining? I say complaining, because some of us complain to simply vent frustration, not to get any solution. Some people only complain and get really irate when a corrective course of action is proposed. It’s a little like suggesting to a person who feels the world is going to crap, that they consider turning off the CNN, which plays as background ambience in their home all day long. The response is often comes out in one quick breath as “Oh, that’s ridiculous, I barely pay attention to it”, then they launch right back into their complaining about the doom and gloom of the world we live in. Sigh! I leave it up to you to answer or not, if that person asks the rhetorical question: “What’s to do?” Personally, when I’m feeling petty, I love answering, in y most matter of fact voice: “Actually, Lot’s!”
5- How can I help this someone? And Why?
The best way to help someone, is to listen to them and wait for the request for help. First of all, some people just need a friendly ear to hear them. That in itself is helpful. Second, as explained in #3 & #4, not everyone wants to change. You can either decide to crusade against their complaining, boycott it with a “talk to the hand” gesture, or say absolutely nothing. In my experience, the third option works the best. It wins one of several reactions: i) a debate on the persons opinion, which is a win-lose scenario, ii) the rejection of the person and a lost opportunity to ever help them, iii) they talk themselves into a corner, and eventually cry out for your help to get them out of it.
Ultimately, it’s entirely up to you, how, when, where and why you want to help someone. I would like to help as many people as possible, one at a time. So, If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I’ll listen, and wait until you have a question. Let me get this ball rolling by asking all of you for your help in reaching my goals and achieving what I want to do. Would you please share your story with me and allow me to write it for my new These Are The People In MY Neighbourhood blog-page? We can do it my email, WhatsApp, or Skype. I would love to hear and share your story! Can you help me do that?