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Being helpful sounds like a great attribute, especially at work.
But, it’s surprising how often we decide not to be helpful or not accept others help. Or, judge help from one as less significant than what someone else offers.
I’m practicing being more helpful in my work. Accepting opportunities that are different than I imagined myself doing. Doing things that could be thought of as “above my pay grade,” or more often “below my pay grade.”
It’s worth paying attention to why you help, when you help, and how you help.
Are you helpful?
Episode 98 Show Notes
Episode 98 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 98 Helpful at work This’ll Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? How are you doing? I hope you’re doing well. I hope you are getting through whatever challenges you were going through. I certainly have my fair share or unfair share. However, you wanna look at it. But I’m choosing to believe these air all part of my life experience and part of this process is figuring out how I help people. And I talk a lot about helping people offer up their best work. That’s a very broad term, but I’ve realized that I want to help leaders become better leaders. I want to help them in their struggles because leaders have struggles figuring out how to lead and how they’re perceived as a leader and what their employees think of them or don’t think of them and what their employees air doing or not doing. And if they’re doing things that air, helping the organization or helping the bottom line and all of those struggles and, of course, especially if they’re mid level management or have a board of directors to report to, or something like all of those pressures coming from all sides for someone leadership. But I also like helping employees that are just trying to take the next step in their work. They’re just trying to get a race, just trying to do work that’s a little bit more aligned with their interests or their skill sets or with the interest and skill sets that they think they’d like, toe, learn or pursue. But I also like to help people in other ways, and it’s interesting to go through the process of becoming an entrepreneur because you’re told so often that you need to focus. You need to get this niece. You need to help people in certain ways, and you’ll exactly draw the people to you that you’re supposed to work with because you’ll be so specific that they will just know when they see you. But sometimes you’re not quite sure how you can help people. Or maybe you think, Oh, I used to help people in that way, but I no longer want to help people in that way. and so it it becomes this very confusing time of Well, if they asked me for help, do I help them or do I say no? I’m not doing that anymore. I’m only doing this and it’s quite the mental struggle. Sometimes it feels like a moral struggle because part of your heart wants to help, and part of you is like, No, I don’t wanna be known for that anymore. And it’s hard to give ourselves grace in these moments and go calm down. You’re okay. You know certain things. Maybe it’s okay if you still help in that way, especially if it helps the other person, especially if you realize in the process of it, you still like doing that. It’s okay, you’re figuring it out. This shows up in the workplace in many different ways. You often hear yourself or others say, Oh, that’s above my pay grade or that’s below my pay grade. But is it? We’re in a changing world. It’s been changing for a while. I remember starting out at Ernst and Young. I was in a floating administrative assistant position and so I would go fill in for assistance that were out that were supporting high level managers, high level partners for the organization. I even supported the area managing partner quite often, and that was a really fun gig because she always had thes coupons in her drawer that she said I could use that were for one of the local pizza places. So I got all kinds of free lunch from that opportunity. But I digress. Right So often the assistance would get angry because people would walk by a copy machine toe, ask the assistant to copy a piece of paper on the machine, and they’re like, Why don’t they just do it? Part of this is the perception right of the accountant or the auditor. They’re like, Oh, she’s the assistant. She’s the one that should do the copying, even though they are perfectly capable and walk right by the machine. Of course, then the assistant has something going on. Why don’t some of these people take care of themselves? Oh, wait. I’m here to help take care of these people. Yeah. So I’ve gotta work on my little thoughts here about this whole thing. But since that time, there are fewer assistance in the workplace. So as technology improved and there was less need for so many administrative assistance running around. People have had to become more self sufficient. I know that I would have 30 or 40 meetings many weeks. I didn’t have anyone helping me schedule those. In fact, it was in my best interest to schedule them because I could look at my schedule, look at other’s calendars and set up the schedule. It was quicker and easier. I even got my own conference call number because I didn’t want to go through the process of asking I t for something as simple as a conference call number, especially if I needed 18 hours a day. So I took care of myself and did it on my own assistant. And of course, over time you realize there’s certain repetitive task you could give to someone else that will help them have something to do and will help free up you to do other things. And that’s just fine. But so many things no longer fit in the quote unquote within my pay grade, because we all kind of have to function strategically and tactically and everywhere in between at any given moment and to be able to think through all of those different processes and expectations I’ve heard come up in some of my interactions and coaching sessions that some people offered to help leadership or they offered to help their manager. And the manager won’t accept their help because they’ve decided they, being the boss or manager, have decided that a certain task is something that Onley they could do as the manager that the other person is not responsible, not capable, shouldn’t do it, whatever. So they push away the help and treated as less than what do you think that does to that worker? Are they going to keep offering to help? Or are they going to just start following orders and march to the cadence that you provide? And when did it become a negative thing to be helpful regardless of the pay, regardless of the above my pay grade or below my pay grade? When did it become important to stick inside a box? We all have these in our own ways. I’ve experienced this just in the last few months when people have asked me to do certain things or they ask if that’s gonna be part of what I offer going forward and like, No, I don’t think it is. I think I’m just going to focus on this. In the meantime, more people come asking me for help on something like, Well, I kind of have these dumb moments, right? Rebecca, if people are asking you for help on this, help them. And Oh, by the way, maybe there’s something there. Maybe there’s a problem that you can help solve with many people. And maybe some people have decided that you are the person that they want to have helped them solve the problem. Maybe they could look it up on the Internet anywhere they wanted. Thio. They don’t want to. They want you to tell them. Maybe they understand it from you better. Maybe they feel like you won’t judge. Maybe they just like working with you. Who knows? And unless you completely dislike working with them, why not help them? And whatever it is they think they need help on, I’ve decided this month to be more helpful. I am reaching out to people I knew in the past and seeing how they’re doing and seeing if they need any help. I have no way of knowing how they’ll perceive this right? Is she seeking something from me? What’s she doing? I haven’t heard from her in a year, all right, but I’m willing to take that risk because I want to find out what people are doing. I want to find out where they need help. I want to be helpful. And in that process, off helping I may discover some little ways that I can help people better. I may discover that I’m really good at helping people in certain ways, and lately I have probably helped revise three or four resumes. That’s something I thought I never wanted to do again. But because the first person that asked me was someone I care deeply about, and I care deeply about their success. I did it and I enjoyed it. And then another person asked, and I enjoyed it. And then another person asked, So I will keep helping people with their resumes. Um, I amazing at resume revisions, I don’t know. I know that I’m helpful in helping people see where there’s a trend in their experience. I’m helpful in showing them that they’re really smart at some things that they might have thought Oh, yeah, that’s kind of a skill. I help someone that said, Hey, I want to throw some ideas at you because I have hit a point of confusion and a point of I don’t know what to Dio So I helped them with a few ideas and in the process of helping them, I got to look up some websites and research some different things that I didn’t know about. And I had ideas to share with, um, that I didn’t even know were in my own head because I had never been presented with that combination of information and problems before. But when they presented it to me, I was able to go. Whoa, let me just help them from what I know and what I can find out my gut impressions on some things and that exposed them to some new ideas that they hadn’t been thinking about. This person’s ah, high level consultant that has many years of experience doing things in the public sector. But they didn’t know how to tackle this particular problem that they brought to me, and I hope that I helped them, and I know that it helped me. It helped me have ideas for my own business and my own pursuits. I am trying to be helpful and not making that be a negative thing And be elated if someone says you helped me. I want to pay you $100. I’m like, Fine, thank you. I’m trying to increase my capacity to receive. Right now $100 used to be a very small amount to me. But now if it comes from a specific person that I helped like Wow, this is absolutely incredible. This person decided to give me $100. How wonderful is that exchange there? Some of you where your boss says you’re so helpful. Thank you. And yet, that same boss does not include that person that’s helpful and important programs going on in the organization or that same boss doesn’t give that person a chance to pursue the next level. It’s almost like they look asshole piffle as a negative, like Oh, you’re cute. Thank you. It’s like that cute, cuddly cat. You’re great for comfort. Your there. Help me when I need you. But the rest of the time I need people with really skills. How offensive is that maybe not at all, or maybe very. You get to decide, but pay attention to how you are using the word helpful and how you are being or not being helpful. Helpful is an amazing skill. It’s one of those skills and attributes that makes the world go round. And how do you feel when you observe someone across the street having a difficult situation? Maybe they dropped something and someone rushes over to pick it up for them. It might be a small child. It might be an old man or woman that rushes over to help them. It might be someone that has their own disability or their own pile of garbage that they’re carrying, but they reached out and are helpful. Even as I talk about it. I feel the rush that comes from watching a good deed, you see, and you go, Wow, look at that. Look at what just happened. I need to be more like that. I want that. It feels like a rock star moment when you help. Have you noticed that there’s this moment where you help and give and you see that someone appreciates it or you don’t see that they appreciate it, even like if you write a note and you don’t get to hear whether they got it or not for a while. There’s this inner rush. They can go through us. You can call it the spirit. You can call it a warm fuzzy. You can call it energy. Call it what you want, but it’s there. It’s something that comes when we help because we are here to help. As human beings, we need each other. And we have been provided personal attributes, personal skills, personal talents that will help others in their lives. And so often we hold ourselves back from being helpful to other humans. I encourage you to take a look at yourself today as you interact with people from work or from school from church, from neighborhood, from community online and your groups or in your friendship circles. Pay attention to yourself is what you’re offering. Helpful. Is there something Mawr you could dio? Yes, there’s something more you could dio a small comment, a small gift, just asking someone how they’re doing. I am striving to do better at this to get out of my little cocoon of creation and working in my small little orbit, I’m gonna reach out more, and it doesn’t mean I’m trying to change the world. I’m not. I just want to be helpful in the human orbits that I occupy. Encourage you to do the same. And if someone is being helpful in your life toward you, acknowledge it and notice mawr than that little offer they’ve given you. Notice everything that they have to offer. Honor it, share it, leverage. It helped them expand it. So many thoughts. So Maney rambles. I hope that it helped talk to you soon. If it is time for you to improve your work relationships, get the raise or move into a new career, I have two programs for you. The first is Make the Move, a self paced online course that leads you through the mindset, management principles and planning approaches that help you uplevel your work. The second is one on one coaching for those who are serious about transforming their work, now, find both at learn dot Move your desk dot com Mhm