In our world of quick fixes and success hacks, there’s an old school approach that wins consistently. Think of it as the most potent high-octane formula to fuel your relationships, career trajectory, client satisfaction, investor relations, and company’s growth. A simple phrase that’s easy to say, but may require a mindset shift to fully embrace:
How Can I Help?
These four words become the difference maker. In our highly ambitious, me-centric, results-driven business climate, we toil away looking for ways to boost our sales, drive our efficiency, and deliver on our commitments. We’re so busy worrying about our own pursuits, we can lose sight of the most effective way to win: help others win.
Think about a typical day and the various interactions you have – meetings, phone calls, emails, sales presentations, vendor discussions. In most encounters, you’re likely focused on extracting value for yourself or perhaps are not even present at all (oh man… that report is due Wednesday and I’m way behind!). Sensing your self-serving focus, the folks on the other side of the table embrace the same what’s-in-it-for-me stance, fortifying the objectives of both parties around personal gain. ‘Winning’ every deal and scooping up the most for yourself in each exchange is the American way, isn’t it? Heck, that approach can apparently even get you to the Oval Office.
But if your goal is sustainable success, an unorthodox approach can yield far better results. Instead of viewing each interaction as a warrior with an opponent, what if you embraced a servant mentality? A mindset around service and empathy, one where you enable the success of others without keeping score? The irony is that by giving more, you end up getting more. Far more, in fact, than the near-term focus of the typical greedy stance.
To embrace this new recipe for success, just memorize that simple phrase (How Can I Help?) and deploy it with rhythmic frequency. When a colleague suggests a new idea, instead of launching into a game of one-upsmanship, just ask how you can help. When a supplier blows a deadline, offer your assistance instead of a berating sermon. When a client describes a problem, demonstrate genuine concern and support rather than using it as an opportunity to peddle your wares.
Try a ‘How Can I Help Challenge’ for 30 days. Pose this question wherever possible in your daily interactions, at the end of emails or calls, or in those three-hour meetings. You’ll simply be blown away how change unfolds. Obstacles fade away, barriers get crushed, and your own success will rise as those around you happily reciprocate and offer their assistance to your most pressing challenges. Run this one-month experiment, and I’m quite confident the results
will be proof-positive.
Over time, genuinely supporting others will deliver the most stunning return on investment. Give the most value instead of scheming to extract it, and ironically you’ll end up with a bigger bounty in the end.
I’m excited for your success. How can I help?