26. Ask How Can I Help?

Often peers, colleagues, management comes to you when you are least expecting it and quite frankly come to you at a time when you really have no time for them because you are focusing on what you think matters. However clearly something else matters to them most at the moment. I have found that nine times out of ten it is best to put down what you are working on and give them your time and attention. After they have gotten you up to speed on the latest situation, I have found the best response to be How Can I Help? It gets the point across quickly that you understand that this is an important issue for them, you are saying that you are there to support them and interested in hearing the role they are looking for you to play. They may not always be asking for you to do something, they may have just needed to vent or share the news with someone. If they do need more from you, you don’t always have to say yes to exactly what they are requesting, you can negotiate your involvement from there. But the fact that you are open to hearing what they need, when they need it will be remembered and appreciated.

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