The Internet once told me that to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. And since everything on the Internet is true, I recommend you do whatever you can to set your coworkers up for failure. Just kidding, of course, and in all seriousness, I believe that to be the best, you’ve got to help the rest. A good practice in all walks of life is to help out wherever you’re able and a great place to start getting into this habit is the workplace.
Too often we fail to reach out and help a colleague because we don’t see the benefits at first glance. Not because we’re too busy or incapable, and certainly not due to a lack of caring (at least I hope not). Rather, we don’t fully realize the impact it can have on them, and maybe even ourselves.
You’ve almost certainly found yourself in a few of these scenarios and will again, so next time challenge yourself to help out a colleague. These are just a few items in a very long list of situations that could use a little teamwork, so share with me where else you’ve been able to provide a helping hand.
A friend or former colleague is looking for a new job. Reach out to your network on their behalf; you may be able to get them in contact with a company they fit in well with and you never know when the roles will be reversed.
A client tells you they understand, but really they may need further assistance. Take the time to follow-up with them the next day to answer their remaining questions and clear up any remaining grey areas. This is a great way to gain their trust.
Your boss has a big presentation coming up. There’s certain to be something he or she could use help with; compiling notes, throwing a couple slides together, Internet research, etc. Don’t hesitate to offer some assistance.
A peer was out sick and missed an important meeting. Ask any questions you know they’ll have and be sure to take extra notes so you can get them caught up to speed when they return.
A new hire starts in your department. We’ve all been there and it can be overwhelming, so make them feel comfortable. Introduce them to the team, share notes with them, or offer to be a mentor. There’s no shortage of things you can do to help a new hire, even if it’s not your responsibility.
If you get into the mindset of always trying to help your peers, you can quickly start making a difference and it won’t go unnoticed (unless of course your coworkers secretly despise you). People are most appreciative of assistance when they’re not expecting it, and are likely to return the favor at some point, though this shouldn’t be the only reason you lend a helping hand; you might even find you learn something along the way. It’s also important to avoid inserting yourself into a situation where you don’t belong; use your best judgment here and you should be just fine.
Remember, if you help others, you just might help yourself. #OneTeamOneDream