In today’ world, you have GPS systems that help you travel. Just about anything you want to try is on YouTube. It is rare that you need to call someone for directions or instruction, or ask someone how they made that recipe, or how they built that soapbox racer. Maybe even how they created that website. How many times on crime dramas has the antagonist stated, “I learned it on the internet”.
However, with all the things you can get from the Internet, the one thing it cannot provide you is a chance at a relationship. We are not talking about online dating, we are talking about the free and random exchange of ideas. The bond that is sometimes created when a conversation starts with, “I need some help.”
Four powerful words, “I need some help”. It changes the way people look at you and stand around you. They are not an intrusion like these four words, “May I help you?”
To keep their job or excel in their position, many feel that they are expected to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. In the non-profit world, where staff is limited and expectations are high, paid staff often tries to figure it out on their own. Sometimes people have a concern they will be replaced if they ask for help. This results in them wasting many hours of their own time, which takes from their personal enjoyment and family time. Possibly, burn out of a valued team member. Volunteers are often under used resources, full of knowledge, that are willing to help. Like the paid staff, they share a passion for the mission.
The great thing about people is they are willing to assist others when asked. It may be offering a local shortcut that a GPS is not aware of. Perhaps that extra step that is the real trick, but the Internet instructions won’t provide. It may be directing you to another person or it may be the beginning of a relationship that last for years.
To get some help, may even costs you a little, but what is your time worth. So next time you start or accept a project that may require more than that which is in your toolbox, STOP! Ask for directions. You may start a new relationship, impress others with your resourcefulness and even get the chance to return the favor.