Response to “The Power of Helping”

The Power of Helping


Seeking help is seeking collaboration

For a person who is looking to grow, asking for help is more like recruiting teammates than asking for favors. As Jayson indicated, this is strong behavior. It’s far easier to give up than it is to continue searching when the path forward is unclear.

Providing help strengthens the helper

I don’t mind admitting that, when I seek to help someone, I often view it partially as a  selfish endeavor. That is, I think about how helping in a particular instance will help me. This is not a bad thing!

When I offer to help someone through a situation, I’m offering to work through the situation with that person. When I offer, I’m not saying that I know the answers. Instead, I’m saying that I am willing to do my part to help find answers. By helping to find answers, I am learning to negotiate challenges that, if I have not had yet, I may well have at some point. For example:

  • By helping a colleague or protege to solve a professional challenge, I’m not only doing a good deed, I’m also learning to solve a type of problem.
  • By helping a friend through a rough emotional time, I’m not only being a good friend, I’m also learning to deal with my own emotions about similar situations.

There’s also the aspect of responsibility. If you are a genuine friend, a good teammate, brother or sister, or what have you, your natural sense of responsibility urges you to act with greater diligence than you would without such inspiration. This is the stuff of which inventions are born, and the stuff that enables us to press on when we are weary or discouraged.

Helping makes us feel good because it IS good — for all of us.


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