Have you ever tried to help someone but your offer was rejected or your intentions got misconstrued? Or perhaps you were on the receiving end when someone well-intentioned inadvertently hurt you all in the name of trying to help? Regardless of intention, good intentions if not well executed will not achieve the desired outcome. I’ve met a lot of good people who end of causing pain in the name of helping. Heck, I’ve even got plenty of stories of my own about how I planned to do something good but feel flat. So why does this keep happening?

The golden rule to treating others is “do unto others what you would like others to do unto you”. I might also want to add another dimension to this which is “do unto others what others would like done to them”. This naturally means that you have to consider the needs and perspective of the receiver before superimposing your own plans. Just because you think it’s a great idea does not mean that the person on the receiving end appreciates needs what you are offering and in the way you are offering it. The worst end is when you act like “God’s glorious gift to humanity” and now you can understand why they will need to seem things your way. Once again, it comes down to considering their perspective.

The next challenge is how the offer is communicated. How do you support others in a way that preserves their dignity? It comes down on how you sell your ideas. Yes, selling and persuading is important to get your ideas across so you can bring everyone in the same wavelength as yourself. That way, they can see the big picture and hopefully buy into your vision. You can’t just expect people to “just get it”. They can’t read your mind. They might not have the same values and world view as you. You don’t understand their past experience and back and how it might shape the way they see the world.

Empathy and great communication will go a long way in helping you support others effectively. I would be keen to hear any further views on this topic.

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