How can I help?

I’ve found myself asking people this question more often lately.

“How can I help?” acknowledges that every interaction (a sales call, an introductory lunch, a brainstorm, a request for an informational interview) involves (at least) two people who could create something of value for each other.  It’s not a one-way street, ever.

“How can I help?” recognizes that, as a boss, my job is to empower others and remove barriers; that I work for me team and not the other way around.

“How can I help?” is often the best thing to say when someone is frustrated or angry or unhappy with the service they received or the response they heard.   (and it’s about a million times better than “let me explain.”)

And “How can I help?” is about leading with generosity.

I only wish I had started asking it sooner.

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