Communication is an integral part of our daily life and is the heart of relationships. Most of our relationships, from our partners to friends to employees, are based upon a need that we fulfill in each other’s lives. Everyone that we know faces a myriad of problems that require solutions. We are a species based on connection, and on both hard days and good days, this is the one question we need to ask in all of our relationships:
“How can I help?”
When we intend to be present and helpful in our relationships, we experience the true benefits of them, and we play our role in our inter-connected world. By asking how we can help, we imply that we definitely are going to, and we invite the other person to share a way in which we can serve them. Especially when someone is having a difficult time, it can be very daunting to ask for help. When we ask this question, we aren’t asking if we can help, we are asking what their need is.
This question can be applied to any situation in any relationship. In business relationships or sales, it allows you to cater to the exact need of your prospect with services or products. In friendships, it allows you to do something for somebody who is enduring a hard time. If you ask your children this question, it teaches them empathy.
Oftentimes when we ask this question, we may not be asked to do anything specific, but more likely than not, it will start a conversation that allows us to better understand what the people in our lives are experiencing. We learn to listen better, be more compassionate, and spend more time doing acts of kindness, which ultimately will bring more joy.
Try this exercise:
Today, ask three people how you can help them.
Document the experience in a journal.
Notice if there is any transformation in your conversations.
See how you feel after doing this.
– Tim S. Marshall, Author of “The Power of Breaking Fear”
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“The Power of Breaking Fear”
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