My Own Realizations
I’ve written articles on being humble before and I strive to stay humble when talking and sharing about my own knowledge and skills with others. I used to have a much more competitive and egocentric attitude which I learned to change. The problem is that I’ve taken that so far, I often now reserve myself while trying to be humble but it’s at the expense of sharing with others. If there is an area I could help I often hold myself back to avoid being overbearing or pushy with my ideas.
Interestingly, I recently met David Zinger from Slacker Manager while he was in Calgary and he reinforced something I’ve been told not only by him, but also friends and colleagues recently. He saw right away at how I shrug off some of my skills and he questioned me about that. I’ve had this impression of myself that I can be too ‘pushy’ with my ideas. David recommending getting past that by simply offering your help by invitation. If you give the invitation to someone else, you leave it up to them if they want to take advantage of it or not. They don’t have to accept and you certainly are not pushy by offering help by invitation.
So, I guess, having this told to me several times now, and especially when someone I first meet can see me doing it, I realized I need to be more careful of that perception I’ve created and not to limit myself with what I have to offer. I’ve taken the step to share these findings and my skills by writing here at Learn This and I truly love knowing I can impact people’s thinking, their knowledge and lives. Now, I need to extend that out by invitation to more people I interact with in person, not just behind this screen. I hope this site will continue to find me friends and people to meet in person as that is where I hope to extend more invitations of help. All of this led me to look at ways to offer what you know by invitation and these are some of the ways I feel a person can do that!
Realize What You Have to Offer
You need to recognize your own strengths and know what you are capable of before you can offer help to others. Obviously, there is help you can offer in almost any area even if you don’t have skills for that. I’m meaning to look more at what your unique skills, talents and strengths are so that you can offer the best you have. Take time and surveys to think about and outline your strengths so you can find ways to make them available. There are great resources online in surveys, articles and of course in books (such as Discover Your Strengths, The Strength Finder) to help uncover your strengths. Ask others you know what they see are your strengths and accept what strengths you have. Sometimes we ignore our strengths we have because we want to have choose our strengths or give the impression that we have strengths that are not real. While strengths can certainly be changed, it takes time and practice to learn them and its far more valuable to realize what you already have and take advantage off it.
Don’t Miss An Opportunity to Help
Once you realize the strengths you have, look for opportunities to use them. Use them for yourself, use them to help others and look for ways to offer to others, the benefits of your strengths. This might be some expertise, special skills, knowledge, personal trait or characteristic. Any of these can be helpful in different situations, so pay attention to where you have a chance to use them.
One way to do this is to watch others who you know have a strength in common with you and see if you can see how they use it. Ask them how they use it and observe their actions. Seeing it demonstrated is a great step is seeing how you can do the same thing. Look for ways they take advantage of their strengths and replicate their actions. As you learn their techniques you can begin to apply the same steps and take advantage of every opportunity you can to share your skills and abilities with others.
Once you know your strengths, practice them and are comfortable with it as well, its helpful to offer that strength to others. Sharing your experiences and especially your strengths with people will continue to reinforce them and it will give you the confidence to share it at every opportunity. Make yourself and your strengths available to others. Offer your services, your skill set, your help. Putting out what you have to offer to others can take many forms. Consider all the ways you could do this:
- Face to face communication to others with an offer of your strength
- Invite others to ask you about your strengths.
- Share your story of how you’ve developed your strengths
- Ask others about their strengths to bring attention to the topic
- Advertise your services
- Start a blog, write articles or white papers about your strengths
- Reveal your strengths to others and encourage them to ask for your help
Growing the opportunities you have to help can also expand if you put attention to it. This tends to cascade where you can develop those areas even further. Continue to develop that and learn about it by practicing it, learning about it from others, and reading about those strength areas.
Keep The Invitation Open
This relates to not missing an opportunity but I think applies more when you have already helped someone or have been turned down for help. If you respond to those people and inform that the invitation is always open and that you are willing to offer help, it is far more likely to reoccur. People unfortunately feel an obligation to pay back what they have gained from someone and so they are often reluctant to ask someone again for help or to continue asking. You can help to diffuse those feelings by offering your help and extending that invitation again even immediately after helping. If they know you are still willing and not avoid them to get out of helping, that extra invitation can bring a lot of comfort in having to ask again for the other person.
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