Do You Really Want Help?


Do You Really Want Help?

How many times do you hear people (or yourself) say, “I wish someone would help me” or “I wish I didn’t have to keep doing this”.

And yet, when there’s an offer to help, here’s the three common answers which follow the, “Thanks but…”

  • It’s OK, I don’t mind doing it.
  • It’s OK, it’s easier and quicker if I do it myself.
  • I don’t have the money right now.

I want to put aside the money situation because that’s often a real and legitimate answer which many people, until they are shown a different way, find it difficult to see the benefit of investing in short term help for a long term gain.

But let’s look at the other two responses and imagine it’s you saying them.

Why are you saying it’s OK, when really it isn’t?  And if you don’t mind doing it or it’s quicker and easier to do it yourself, then why are you complaining about it?

To me, these responses are all about control and not wanting to let go as well as a lack of systems because all the knowledge about what and how to do things is still in your head.

If it’s all in your head, then of course, no one can do it as quickly or as easily as you because if nothing’s written down; then no one can be trained, no one has something to follow when you’re not there, and no one can improve it.

I see these scenarios in many businesses as well as the volunteer organisations with which I’m involved so let’s look at the impact of complaining about everything you have to do but not letting anyone else into the sacred circle.

1. Why bother.

People stop offering to help because they realise after the second, third or maybe fourth time that the answer will always be, no, so it’s a waste of their time to keep beating on a door which will never open. Word will get around and so you’ll risk becoming an employer, business or organisation which people avoid.

2. Cry wolf.

Because you’ve knocked back help so many times, when you actually do need it due to illness, personal or financial circumstances, there’ll be no one coming to your aid because you’ve burnt those bridges in the past.

3. It’s always them.

When people see the same people doing the same roles for an extensive period of time, they know they have no chance of being involved until the person eventually hands over the baton, either by choice (rarely) or death.

This is true in my church where I see the same people doing particular roles on special ceremony days eg Easter and no else is allowed to do them. Yet these people, who are getting on in years, some with difficulty in walking or carrying heavy items, persist in wanting to be on show rather than letting someone else have a go.

Is it any wonder that our rates for volunteers willing to help out in organisations is at an all time low?

I don’t know what to do.

Unless processes and knowledge are written down, it will probably always be quicker and easier for you to do things yourself.  But this means you will never grow your business or organisation to the level you desire. The people around you will more than likely leave rather than stay in an environment which doesn’t allow them to grow their knowledge and skills.

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, “what’s in it for me?”, Brian Tracy.

People like to be involved, they like to help, they like to learn new things. But if you continue to keep everything close to your chest and never pass on the wisdom, or never come to the realisation that every successful person, business and organisation achieves success and longevity by engaging the help they need from others, then there is no excuse to complain about how tired you are, how much money you don’t have or how much time you don’t have. Why? Because you have brought this situation onto yourself.

So, if this is you (and if we’re honest, it’s all of us to some degree), then what are you going to do to change this?

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