Saturday, November 22, 2008

I’m usually a person who keeps his own council. I don’t often seek out the help of others when I’ve got decisions to make or research to do. But, recently, I’ve been working on a very complex project, one that has many implications for both me and my company. And, this time, I enlisted the help of a great many people. It was such a great experience that I thought I’d share a few of the insights I got from it:

1. Asking people’s opinions helped me clarify my questions. As I struggled with some rather complex questions, simply trying to figure out how to ask for someone else’s opinion gave me great insight. And the more people I asked the more clear the issues became.

2. Most opinions were non-committal, but they were extremely helpful. It was interesting to me that of all the people I spoke with, no one said, “You should do this”. Most of them were very helpful in identifying factors to consider, both positive and negative, but few offered any strong ideas about what I should do.

3. Most people really enjoyed being asked for help. Maybe it’s because I don’t ask for help very often, but I was really impressed at how willing people were to give me their time, and sincerely help me evaluate what I was doing.

4. Several folks referred me to others that I would not have thought of myself. As they listened to my questions, if the person I was speaking with didn’t feel qualified to answer, they usually had someone in mind that was, and offered to connect me.

5. Other people can really help your productivity. I had reached a point several times on this project where something needed to be done – quickly – and I didn’t even realize that I was stuck. It was only after I accepted someone’s offer to make a phone call on my behalf, did I realize that that phone call was the most important thing that needed to be done at that moment.

6. Asking for other people’s help gave me confidence that I was covering all my bases. Whether or not the decisions I make will be good ones won’t be known for quite a while, but feeling that I thoroughly thought through the situation, gives me confidence to take action.

Thanks to all who helped me with this project. You know who you are. I’ll let you all know the outcome very soon.

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