Besides improving our own lives, helping others is something we all do and is an everyday part of life. It can become much more than this however, it can become a way of life, something that once cultivated will flow naturally. I have realised how much more of a positive outlook and encouraging manner I have adopted since starting this blog because I am continually brought back to a positive place despite the events in my life. Positivity definitely gives rise to more of the same.
It’s not rocket science but we sometimes overlook the obvious, in this case the obvious being: that in order to really help people we need to try to understand them. It is no good always doing things for others in line with our way of thinking because everyone is different. The following questions are guidelines to help our understanding of a situation and the advice people will appreciate:
• what is important to that person
• how do they view the situation?
• what do they want to achieve (desired outcome)?
• how much effort are they prepared to put into the project (for want of a better word!)
Sometimes we can want things more for others than they do for themselves... how many people apply for the X-Factor because their families have pushed them into it? Children are another good example- It can be very difficult helping children decide what career path they are interested in when they have little life experience- we might only look at the familiar rather than their potential. Some people even try to live through their children which is not good for either party.
However well we think we know people, it is possible that we are unaware of their desires or perceived limitations. Sometimes people who appear confident actually have internal conflicts and do not believe in themselves as much as other people believe in them. Some people need more space in life than others and tend to internalize whereas others surround themselves with people and constantly ask for advice. What type of personality do you have and how does it compare to the person you are helping's personality? You might need to adjust your thinking slightly. Once you understand someone’s personality it is easier to gauge how to help them, when to help them and what advice/support you can provide. In some cases people have a hidden agenda which prevents you from understanding each aspect of a situation. These agenda’s might be revealed with time or understanding, however if the person concerned is unaware of their own hidden agenda for whatever reason, it might never surface but may well affect their decisions. Very often the past affects the future and we may need to take action to address existing issues.
There are occasions when the most we can do to help people is simply to let them know we care. Making the effort to turn up for important occasions, making a difficult phone call. By providing consistent support & positive input we help people to believe in themselves and the ‘I can’t’ attitude has a good chance of turning into an ‘I can’ attitude, the opportunity to be the best that person can be. With that said- Job Done!
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