We’re designing an executive leadership program together. We were brainstorming about helping others, and considering “service” as an assignment. We both were hesitant to suggest that these leaders need to either learn the value of service, or serve more. They are all giving of themselves tremendously on a daily basis. Yet there was something more, something that needed to be surfaced.
Then, all of a sudden, it dawned on us. There are ways to help others, and there are things we do out of ego or obligation that create the opposite effect of what we intend.
And most everyone needs help, at one time or another.
All of our communities - neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, to name a few – consist of human beings interacting as they go about their multi-faceted lives. We might look at another as the “teacher,” “store clerk,” or “coach,” but beyond these narrow roles is a whole person.
It is a cliché to say life is complex, we’re over-scheduled, and don’t have enough time. Yet it is largely a reality. Have you ever been surprised to learn that a cheerful colleague was experiencing a personal crisis? Or shocked to hear that a neighbor who you thought was the picture of resilience was on the brink of breakdown? Whether or not people around you discuss the joys and sorrows of their experiences outside of their “roles,” they are experiencing them. The stress of life is enormous.
Many people are natural givers. They gain respect and trust simply because of what they’ve done for others. And, sometimes the most valuable of these “gifts” are things that the giver sees as small or trivial.
Do you know how to best help others around you?
Do, don’t just ask.