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Help and Be Helped

Heroes In Recovery
| September 17, 2015

A man was settled on his flight, and they were preparing for takeoff. He had an aisle seat and noticed an adorable toddler in the seat in front and across from him. Shortly after takeoff, he was slapped in the face with an aroma that was undoubtedly the smell of a dirty diaper. This child with all of her cuteness was going to be unable to change herself and needed help from her parents to take care of the situation.

The circumstances may be different for adults, but no matter how well we seem to be doing, we all face situations we have created where we need help from another person. As professionals, this is true whether we work independently or in group settings. We run into a wall and can’t come up with ideas; we make mistakes and require another person’s expertise; we’re not sufficient on our own to handle a certain workload. What do you do in situations like this?

Ideally, a person knows enough about the task at hand and about himself to realize the best answer is to get help. While some of us struggle with asking for help, it is key for survival, both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, a person may struggle to ask for help for a number of reasons. She may think she’ll appear less valuable or weak if she asks for help. But to that it’s important to ask, “Is it better to succeed with help or struggle on your own?”

There are times, as with the baby’s situation on the plane, when people are unable to recognize or ask for help on their own. These are the times when we need our co-workers, leaders or parents, to step in and help us when we cannot help ourselves.

Thoughts for You…

  1. Have you experienced a situation in your professional career where you saw a person struggle with a task he could not complete on his own?
  2. What did you do? Did you intervene to help or let the person struggle?
  3. If you chose to step in to help, what steps did you take in approaching the person and providing the help he needed?
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