I recently had a discussion with another person, expressing a need that I had, they suggested a solution but offered no help.
“That’s great”, I thought, “but, what I really need is someone to come alongside me and put in some hours to help me do this.”
As a blogger, I fall victim to this as well. People ask for help with finding a job and I share a link to a blog post: when in reality, they’d like help with making connections with people in my network who might be hiring for the role that they’d like. People ask me for how to get a Data Science Job and I send them to my blog post, “How to get a Data Science Job“. But, what they really want is a Data Science Project that they can work on with the assistance of an experienced Data Scientist.
Many times our blog posts offer the same comfort as someone saying, “Be warm and be Filled” to a homeless person. When what they need our expertise to help really change their world to take action and get involved to help (not just share a blog post):
What I’m talking about is community not blog posts. It’s only in an active community that the connections take place where we step beyond advice and actually help the person with our own efforts and time to assist in their success.
And, this is what I needed today.
But, sadly, not everyone can provide this assistance.
So, they excused themselves from any assistance they could provide and now I’ll check with some others in my community who might be able to help.
And, I have received this type of personal assistance from our Upskill Create Community. One community member provided some assistance on a Python program that I needed to have modified. I had struggled with what needed to be done for hours, with no success, so I posted the request to the community and one member stepped forward and provided the solution; no payment required, just out of the goodness of their heart! You can read about it here: “Join the My Badges Challenge“. Thanks again to Neil Dick Beltran for helping me solve my programming problem!
As a mentor in the corporate world, I frequently helped people with their need. I didn’t offer a blog post, I offered myself — all of my resources, network and knowledge, usually shared through a video conference meeting. I helped mentor people by walking them through the steps to setup Open Broadcaster Software complete with Green Screen, I have helped people practice their English language skills by engaging in conversation, I have helped people setup their first cloud based app by taking them through step-by-step while screen sharing, etc. But, most importantly I introduced them to others, especially when I didn’t have all the expertise they needed. I freely gave of my network contacts, to benefit the corporation as a whole.
Ironically, this other person I talked to, does have people in their life that could give them the type of assistance that they needed, but for which they didn’t want to re-invest that kind of time in me. They just wanted to offer advice.
Many times it’s in the extended network of relationships that people truly desire to assist. I like this blog post from the “AskJim” podcast, entitled, “The Serendipity Effect“:
“What makes the Serendipity Effect possible are the networks and hubs in the collaboration platform. It’s about the connection between weak links across the organization, and the larger the organization, the more powerful the Serendipity Effect becomes. The key is this…. the unexpected nature comes from the secondary and tertiary networks which are what we call the ‘weak links’, that is, connections with people outside one’s core team, working group, department.”
Often times, the people that can provide the best assistance to us are not those closest to us.
It’s a strange dynamic in human psychology wherein IF we receive no benefit from the relationship and we have to make the decision to help someone without any benefit to us, it is only then, when we do that, we can provide assistance that the person truly needs because we choose to help out of love.
So, reach out to a stranger today to assist you, especially when those closest to you only want to offer advice and not assistance.
When we are drowning, we don’t need “5 tips on how to Swim”, we need a life preserver!
And to those “lifeguards” out there, offering “assistance”, rescue the drowning swimmer first and then take them to the shallow end of a pool and help them learn how to swim — by actually getting in the pool with them and showing them how to do the swim strokes (not just give them a manual on “How to Swim”).
As a blogger, I want to remember this experience, so I can learn how to truly help more as well!
Join our community of “Upskillers” who are passionate about learning, collaborating and investing the time to help others to reach their career goals. Click the JOIN NOW! button below.