This past week I had a business owner from another town reach out to me for advice. That may not seem odd to you, but this isn’t that common for most folks. Let me give you a little background. We’ve met once or twice in passing at HR conferences. I think he’s a great businessperson with a heart to help others. We’ve never worked on anything directly, and he is not a vendor that I use.
Now, if you don’t know this, I’m a massive extrovert !! I thrive on human interaction from any front and in any circumstance. I don’t know if they make an “E” big enough on the Meyers-Briggs to describe how I enjoy interacting with others. So, when this business owner reached out, I felt it was normal. I was geeked to see what he needed and if I could help.
I responded to the e-mail he had sent me and then followed up with a phone call. He happened to be at a conference in New York, but said he’d give me a ring during a break. We connected later in the day and had a great conversation. I was able to hear what he was facing, give him some ideas and resources and ease his concern about the people situation he was addressing.
Please note a critical point here. It didn’t matter that this business owner reached out to me specifically. The key is – He was willing to ask for help !!
Again, we aren’t that familiar with each other. He needed someone to talk to, and he liked my approach on things from what I’ve written and what he’s heard from my presentations. That takes quite a leap of faith to reach out, and I admire him for taking a chance to do it.
I think it’s a brilliant example that we should use ourselves personally and professionally. Too often we feel that we must be fiercely independent in all we do. That is silly, selfish and naive. The myth of self-sufficiency in the workplace is what leads to isolation, separation and silos.
There are far too many people who want to ask questions, but they are hesitant to do so because they’re afraid you won’t take the time out of your day to answer them. It’s true. We would rather struggle and eek through our circumstances instead of asking a question because we’re afraid to impose on others. That breaks my heart.
You have the time to help others. This isn’t a “job duty” or part of your some insurmountable burden. I get discouraged when I see others who won’t take time to invest in other humans. You have to understand that you’re missing out when you can’t take the time to answer questions.
The 15 minutes I spent answering questions for this business owner will hopefully get him out of the funk he was in so he can move forward. THAT is worth my time. I know that we don’t work together. But, I want to see others succeed in what they do. It may sound Utopian, but I’m good with that.
I urge people to connect with other HR people intentionally on a daily basis. I do it through this blog and social media platforms. I continue to fight against the tide of people who want to do things just on their own. I do this because I have questions, and I relish the chance to reach out and ask someone for their insight and advice.
Always remember two things . . .
We’re better as professionals and as humans when we’re intentionally connected, and
We’re better when we have the courage to break out of our independence and ask questions !!
This week take the steps to connect with others and remember to Just Ask !!