Help? Be Receptive

After a dinner party this summer, the last few guests offered to help bring in everything from outside. With great bravado, I quickly waved their help away. I was the host; they were guest. They reminded me that if I left all that food outside, I would have uninvited guests at the critter buffet.

The immediate thought of rats, raccoons, and lord know what else, having an after-party terrified me enough that I agreed. Why was I being so stubborn? In 15 minutes everything was cleared. Tablecloths and napkins were in the laundry. Plates and glasses in the dishwasher, tables and chairs folded and waiting be stored. Which made me think again, why was I being so stubborn?

People want to help; let them. This scenario reminded me to do the same at work. I have my way of doing things, my own style. But as it has been mentioned before, I cannot be all things to all people. I will exhaust myself, which I have done before, and be of no good for anything and anybody. There are people who can help out and who want to.

The trick is to recognize who is willing and able to help. At work, there should be associates who can help. If you find yourself in the situation that there is no one, consider creating more connections at work and mentoring others. When I get overwhelmed and overworked, if there is no one who can help out on my team, then as a team leader, I have failed. I have to share with others what I’m doing and encourage them to mentor each other and make connections. As the team leader, I know the best model is to have some overlap of expertise. Generally, I find that people want to help; they want to be useful.

A couple of friends helped with photos for this blog. While I posed for most of them, it was exhausting and at times I needed a break. The model in this post is Leslie (aka Stiletto). She took a day off  for this. When I needed a break, the photographer and lighting set up didn’t stand idle waiting for me, someone else could step in and help. Be receptive to help and be thankful for those who give it.

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