“Don’t be smart, be helpful.”
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How do you participate in your professional and personal communities? How often do you find yourself sharing your knowledge, life experiences, and wisdom with others? What is your talk-to-listen ratio?
What if a trusted colleague or significant other took a survey of ten people in each of your communities, asking exactly how helpful you were through your various interactions? How would you score?
Using big esoteric words to communicate a simple point just annoys people. Before you speak today, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say just me trying to be smart, or is it actually helpful?”
It is, of course, OK to be both on occasion.
“How Can I Help?”
Being helpful and serving others is one of the most satisfying ways to spend our days. Such acts give our days meaning and purpose.
Unfortunately, our efforts to help and serve others do not always result in positive outcomes and the appreciation we hope to receive.
Why do so many of us get this wrong by solving other’s problems, providing advice, or doing the job ourselves?
The quick answer is that our authentic gesture was not seen in the light of helpfulness we intended.
Consider the direct approach of asking others, “How can I help?” This will allow you to see through their lens of contribution and hit the bulls-eye of helpfulness every time.