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  • Writer's pictureKate Bradshaw

Helping Others

Helping others has shown to be beneficial on many levels.

Not only do you get the satisfaction of helping someone in need, but you can benefit from an increased sense of purpose in your life. It can boost your accessibility in your workplace and make you more of an asset to your company.

According to a report by Deloitte, 74% of people that volunteer feel this sense of purpose in addition to an increase in well-being. Being a person that is more helpful has also shown to increase your lifespan and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment in the work that you do.

1. Don't Take Things Personally

Learning how not to take things personally will give you the ability to understand others better. Everyone is going through something so what they say or do may have nothing to do with you. But when you take things personally, you create a story and judgement on the other person that will prevent you from seeing the bigger picture.

2. Keep A Helpfulness Journal

Journaling is a great way to develop new habits in various aspects of our lives. Try keeping a journal dedicated to the topic of being helpful (similar to a gratitude journal). In it, capture acts of helpfulness you observe in others, and new ideas you have to be helpful to those around you. Set a goal to offer unsolicited help daily, and track your progress in the journal.

3. Be A Positive Influence

It's easy to overlook how your attitude impacts others. But, remaining positive and approachable can truly help others in ways you may never imagine. Focus on being a positive influence in the office and you'll quickly realise others will gravitate towards you, engage with you more and seek your leadership when you least expect it. Helping others doesn't always equate to a physical act.

4. Be On Others

Gracious professionalism is about looking around and seeing who needs assistance and help. When we are focused on others and see a need, we can step in and help someone else succeed. Helping others succeed makes the entire team successful. Move from looking at your cell phone to asking how someone is doing and make a real connection. It only takes five minutes to find out where they need help.

5. Be Intentional

We sometimes want to separate our private life habits from our work life habits. But they influence each other. So be intentional about asking others how you can help them on a consistent basis. Then actually do it. The more you become focused on others and on serving, the more you get out of your own way.

6. Schedule Mindfulness

One easy habit to become a more helpful person is to be mindful of others. Think of at least one person a day that you are grateful for. Write a daily goal to help one person a day. Look for ways to help, and then act on it. Write daily about helping others, commit and do it, and it forms a habit. Most of us need reminding way more than we need instructing, so schedule recurring daily reminders.

7. Ask Others For Genuine Feedback

Asking your boss, peers, reports and customers for simple feedback will not only go a long way toward helping you be a more helpful person but will also give you a solid gauge for your performance. Schedule it quarterly or at the end of projects. Two simple questions are the key, "What was the most helpful thing I did during our collaboration?" and, "What do you suggest I improve for next time?"

8. Ask Yourself Who You're Becoming

Throughout the day when I'm making decisions, I consciously ask myself, "Who am I becoming?" So when you know who it is you want to be, start doing the things in alignment with who you want to become. Ask yourself that question often, and if what you're doing is not in alignment with becoming a more helpful person, don't do it.

9. Stop Saying "But"

The word "but" generally shuts down communication and idea generation. To be a more helpful person, find ways to say "yes, and" instead of the word "but." If someone has an idea, affirm their belief and elevate the idea. By saying "but," you've not only written it off, you've also elevated your own option and statement above theirs.

10. When You Ask Questions, Stay Around For The Response

The No. 1 thing that stands between helpful and hurtful is the presence and interest provided in support. Shutting down or moving on when you've given someone the floor leads to resentment, distrust and distance. Being helpful means listening with both ears, both eyes and engaged body posture. When someone feels listened to, they feel appreciated and helped.

11. Give Your Time

The best way to demonstrate your willingness to help others is to donate your time. Time is a precious commodity that you cannot make more of. When we give our time in service to others without expectation of return, that sends a clear signal that we value them.The donation of your time, which shows that you care, is arguably one of the greatest services you can give.

12. Practice Empathy

The easiest way to become more helpful is to start by understanding the plight of those around you. We often get so focused on what we have to do, that we don't spend enough time trying to understand how others are feeling. Once we do, it will become easier to become more helpful.

13. Build Interpersonal Relationships

Developing interpersonal relationships with your colleagues will build trust and openness, making them more apt to ask for help. So spend some time every day getting to know others -- asking open-ended questions that give you a good sense of their immediate and long-term goals. You'll likely learn of various ways you can be a resource for them.

14. Be "On Purpose"

None of us are here by mistake, we were born at this exact time in history for a reason, we are here on purpose. Take a moment each morning and ask yourself, "Am I living my life on purpose?" Are you giving everything you can to make your life and your relationships meaningful? This is not a dress rehearsal! We have one life to live, so live it knowing that you are here "on purpose."

15. Be An Active Listener

When we take the time to truly listen, it not only changes the conversation but it helps us to better understand some of the things that aren't being said. So often, we get caught up in getting our own point across, but if we can take the time to listen, we gain so much more. It also strengthens relationships, as people feel acknowledged and understood when they feel heard

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