Saturday, August 03, 2013

Help This Person...

I just came across this article recently which says to think ‘help this person’ whenever we meet someone as it would supercharge your career and improve your quality of life. By reducing the focus from ‘me’ to thinking about others might have a reciprocal effect and it would leave you feeling better.  This is also related to my previous blog post.
Some of the comments below the article say that people will be offended if you try to help without really being asked etc... My take away from this article is not that we should constantly ask people ‘how can I help you?’ which may be annoying especially if someone doesn't need assistance, but to think, ‘in this situation how can I act in such a way so that it is helpful to this person’.
One of the first things that came to my mind while reading this was to try to implement it while driving, after which I’m almost always worked up. Three-wheelers and motor bikes seem to be on a suicide mission creeping from everywhere, and no one follows any rules! So after reading this I said I’ll start the journey with a ‘help this person’ mindset, where I will let people pass rather than trying to race them. So far, I start calmly but halfway through I've forgotten my ‘help this person’. Maybe if I continue this mantra with time I’ll learn to relax while driving and it might add years to my life!
I also heard about a book with a similar concept by Adam Grant, ‘Give and Take: A revolutionary Approach to Success’.  The HBR Review of the book raises some interested questions, and has now aroused my curiosity making me want to read this book.
This creates a challenge for managers. Can they promote generosity without cutting into productivity and undermining fairness? How can they avoid creating situations where already-generous people give away too much of their attention while selfish coworkers feel they have even more license to take? How, in short, can they protect good people from being treated like doormats?
In life the only thing I can change is how I react to life, everything that happens will continue to happen, people will remain the same no matter how much we get stressed/ annoyed/ angry or throw tantrums. So if I look at life with a more positive attitude, and look at people with a more generous perspective where they turn from people there to make me happy to people whom I can help, life would be much simpler and easier. Of course being ‘too’ helpful or being a doormat is not healthy either. It would leave you feeling resentful. So it’s important to get the balance right. Help with a generous heart, but not let people walk all over you either.

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