by Tony Richards
Leaders learn early on to accomplish anything substantial it will require the help of other people, often many other people. Sometimes, you may need help from someone who has experienced something similar you are attempting to do or perhaps you are going through at the moment.
Yesterday, in Part 1 of this subject, we addressed some of the reasons people may not be willing to help you all of which had something which involved changing your perspective or behavior. But, as you know, it takes two to tango in a helping relationship. Today, let’s look at a few of the reasons you may not get help from someone which involves the other person’s perspective or behavior.
1. They are burned out. That’s right. This happens especially in non-profit situations, but can occur in small business or corporate settings as well. After all, if the game is on the line, are we going to pass to Michael Jordan or Frank Sanders? Well, Michael Jordan, of course you say! That happens all the time, we ask people to do things we know are going to put the ball through the hoop. We do it so often, they get tired and burned out of always being the go-to person. This may happen also with people we are just asking for favors or help. Why? Because everyone asks them. You should not ask, but you should respect their answer if they tell you they just need some time before the next project run or if they just can’t help you right now. They will be very grateful for your understanding and will more than likely help you out next time.
2. They don’t have time. Most successful people know their limitations and they respect them when they reach them. They don’t over-extend. When their dance card gets full, they stop taking on new partners. If you reach out to someone for help and they are honest enough to tell you they just don’t have the time, don’t be offended. Ask them if there is someone else they would recommend who might have time or would be interested to help.
3. They don’t have the knowledge or expertise you require. This is another person who is of high character and integrity. If they are honest enough with you to tell you they can’t help you, you need to make note of that person. Some people are so starved for recognition, they will lead people to believe they can help, when they really can’t. Hopefully, you have checked the person out thoroughly and they have some track record of success prior to your reaching out to them. The last thing you want to do is waste your time with someone who is learning along with you. You can get those people to take a class with you, here you are looking for someone who can help accelerate your growth or solve your problem or point you in the right direction.
4. They don’t believe in what you are doing. Oh, the ultimate honest answer. This one will test your mettle. I went to someone when I first decided to start management consulting and coaching. This person is highly regarded in the community and is tied to a lot of businesses. He promptly told me he had a friend in another state who was trying to do the same thing, he didn’t need my help because he had been doing his job for so long and it’s too tough a business I was trying. I thanked him for his feedback and his time, shook his hand and left to go find someone else who could provide some advice I needed. Now, I smile each time I see him, as I most usually have signed another client. It reminds me of a friend I have who had a doctor 15 years ago tell him he would not live past Christmas and see the New Year. Now, he sends him a Christmas and New Year’s Card each year for the last 15 years. Not everyone is going to believe in you or what you are doing, the most important thing is that you do and you find people who do as well and are willing to help you.
5. They are intimidated. Yesterday, we talked about your being intimidated. Some people you need help from are actually intimidated by you, People get crazy ideas about other people. If you have had any success at all, for some reason, people get the idea you never need any support or help. What an untruth. No person has all knowledge and all wisdom. Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. If you find yourself saying “why would they ever need my help?”, you need to change that. You never know when you are going to possibly have a chance meeting with someone who could change your entire day just by needing something you have. The best thing to do is always explain to the other person you are asking for help the kind of value you see in them and what the outcome could be if they helped you. Everyone wants to feel respected and valued, be genuine and this is the fastest way beyond the intimidation they may be feeling from you.