Curb That Venom You’re Spitting On Social Media


It’s not a new phenomena but I have been struck of late with the rather unfortunate rise in rude, offensive and provocative language some people are using with a high degree of regularity on social media when providing their comments. Unfortunately, how they are expressing their views often says much more about the person than what they are actually commenting on. We’d all be wise to remember this.

Now debating is good as is expressing one’s owns views. Hearing varying viewpoints gives one perspective; often we say to ourselves as we read someone’s thoughts, “Hmm…I hadn’t thought of that myself”. When we hear a contradictory point of view or even a varying point of view, it gives us more information; an opportunity presents itself for us to learn something new and with that other information we might shift our point of view or not. Sometimes that other person’s views only reinforce our own of course and that’s perfectly fine; we are entitled after all to think for ourselves.

What I don’t particularly understand however is when people respond on social media which are in their nature public platforms, using strong, offensive language, cursing others with viewpoints other than their own. They use derogatory words that spew outright hate and refer to others who think differently than themselves as idiots. I imagine – although I have no way of knowing – that these same people wouldn’t dare use the same kind of language in person, and more importantly they wouldn’t talk as such in their workplaces.

Here of course we hit upon a subject of great debate which will no doubt bring people down strongly on one side or other. When we aren’t at work and we are on social media at the local coffee shop or in the comfort of our own home, is what we post on social media impacting us alone or does it extend to the reputation of those organizations to which we are employed? Some think they should be able to say whatever they want as freedom of speech issue; and further they should be able to say it with whatever words they feel like using without repercussions. However, as I say there are always others with varying perspectives.

Yet, when we hear someone’s point of view, it’s often significant to learn where the person is coming from which gives perspective to their commentary. Part of figuring out what their agenda is that shapes their point of view is knowing what political party they represent, what company they work for, what part of the country they live in, what their cultural background is etc. This background information often enlightens us who read their comments; knowing where they are coming from ‘explains it’ so to speak.

The thing one always should bear in mind though is the impact of the words we choose to use in expressing our points of view. Why? Simply put, while we might not care what others think of our views, our vocabulary or even us as people, the companies we work for care immensely. So much so in fact that they may go so far as to choose to disassociate themselves completely from us which is a kind way of saying we could be parting ways. That angry, venom-spewing tirade we post one day could be viewed as damaging the reputation of the organization we work for the next by association and we find we’re fired.

Again, some people strongly believe that what they say away from the workplace shouldn’t be anybody’s business but their own. That viewpoint however isn’t shared by everyone and if you’re relying on your employment for your livelihood, you might be best advised to check out the extent to which you can say what you want outside the workplace.

In Ontario, there was an announcement just a couple of days ago about the minimum wage rising to $14 on January 1, 2018 and then to $15 on January 1, 2019. While some applaud this move to strengthen the income levels of the impoverished, others lament the increases. That in and of itself seems only logical; varying viewpoints on an important issue. The impact of this decision affects low-income earners, business owners, taxpayers and politicians. In short, there is almost no one this decision won’t impact in some way.

Of course, many people have taken to social media, letting anybody who cares to know, exactly what they think of the move. Swearing, exclamation marks that imply shouting, profanity, insults, mud-slinging, defamatory remarks, put-downs; unfortunately the worst of us collectively is there on display. Why do we feel we have to assert our views while putting the people who hold contrary views down? Can’t we just express our own views civilly and leave it at that? Are all the other people who don’t believe what we believe automatically reduced to being devoid of a modicum of intelligence? What happened to respect for those with varying views?

I’m happy we have vehicles to express our points of view; happier still that we have social media to bring us views of others world-wide. Prior to the internet we were often confined to news organizations exclusively to expose us to others points of view: newspapers, radio, television and / or town halls and soap boxes. Hurray for progress.

Speak your mind of course, just mind your speak. Your reputation and by association those around you ride on your words.

 

 

Lying In Job Interviews? Oh, Oh…


There are those who will lie in job interviews of course; they’ll claim to have diploma’s and degrees, work experiences and skills that they clearly don’t. With little that bothers their conscious, they justify their deceit by believing that everybody lies in job interviews. They bank on being able to con their way into a job and then learn it quickly without the boss finding out what they don’t know, and possibly endangering everyone around them by hurting the company’s reputation.

These folks are unlikely to change their minds; lying after all has probably become easier to do and actually worked in the past for them so why change? Therefore, I will not waste time here reaching out to them requesting they stop. I can only hope that they do not endanger their life or the lives of those they work with by making false claims and hoping to wing it on the job if hired.

Unfortunately, these same people may be passing on such advice to others who are just starting to go through interviews.. Hearing advice and suggestions from these people whom they would otherwise implicitly trust could get them into trouble. Not only could they physically hurt themselves or others, do damage to a company’s reputation and tarnish their image with customers, the person themselves if revealed is going to have a black stain on their reputation. Forget ever working for a company that keeps files and application records.

Establishing a relationship built on deceit, half-truths and outright lies isn’t fair to yourself. After all, if you lie in the job interview you’ll have to carry that lie with you moving forward and remember the lies you’ve told and to whom. You may or may not be surprised to learn that some lies are big enough that you can be fired on the spot if the truth comes out not just a few days into the job but years later. Claim to have that degree that somehow went up with the house in flames 10 year’s ago – as did the school it was issued from – and then reveal 3 years later you made all that up and you’re out on your ear.

The best advice to receive is advice that stands the test of time. Telling the truth is by this definition good advice. When you build a reputation for being honest, your word becomes your bond; people come to trust and believe you and by association, believe IN you. That is something you build up over time, can lose in an instance and may have a longer time rebuilding than you’d imagine.

For most people, it’s more a question of not being truthful or not but rather, how much do I reveal? So for example, if you had a health concern 3 years ago that prevented you from working and now that it’s completely taken care of your declared fit and able to work again, should you or shouldn’t you reveal the original health condition? Should you be a single parent of two darling little ones, should you reveal this or keep your children and marital status to yourself? Yes it’s one thing to lie and another to voluntarily reveal information that could be harmful to your employment for the sake of being completely open and transparent.

Now I wouldn’t suggest revealing one’s single parent status nor having children as this could hurt your chances in most situations. An employer hears, ‘time off’ for not just your illnesses, but also theirs, and in addition anytime the caregiver can’t watch them, they get in trouble at school etc. etc. etc. However, having said this, there are some situations where the employer values applicants with children and they actually give an edge to applicants with little ones. An on-site childcare centre for employees would be a big tip-off that this information wouldn’t be damaging to your chances.

I would caution against voluntarily revealing a criminal record; even a charge you were ultimately cleared of as well. Now if they ask you have to come clean because they will likely want that clean criminal record check in the end, so lying in the interview won’t get you the job anyhow. But volunteer such information if you’re not asked directly? Keep that to yourself. Same goes with any addiction issues be they alcohol or drugs.

The ideal candidate for many employers is squeaky clean. You know, a clear criminal record, no addictions, academically qualified, having the experience level they’ve requested in the job postings and the licences in good standing that go along with the job. Every time you voluntarily show something that you are hoping the employer can work around or see beyond, you risk the one that they can’t. Look, it’s not that they are judgemental, it’s more a question of protecting their good name, maintaining high quality production, safeguarding their reputation, keeping their insurance costs low etc. All of these play into their policies.

Many employers do make allowances for hiring workers that need accommodations. If you see this in an ad, you have an open invitation to share your special needs or disability if you prefer, as the employer is receptive to making some adjustments provided you’re qualified to do the work advertised.

To close, keep it real but think carefully about what you reveal and conceal. Honesty is the best policy but that doesn’t mean the interview is a confessional.

 

 

 

And You Are Building A Reputation For…?


Whether you know it or not, you and I are constantly building our reputations. The good news is that we have a great deal of control over the effort we put into this process; not always achieving the results we’d like perhaps but, the effort invested is entirely ours to give. Consistently delivering results is also a key factor for many in establishing their reputation.

Those we work with, those we come into contact with on a daily basis; we’re all building our individual reputations throughout the day. We may not always have our reputations foremost in our minds, but the words we speak and the actions we take which others observe adds to or diminishes how we are perceived. And it’s not just one or two things we become known for; we gain a reputation for numerous things. Hence we become known for always arriving early or being late, contributing our fair share in group projects or riding along on the strong work of others. We can have a reputation for having an optimistic outlook, being authentic, exercising patience, extending ourselves to help others or always saying, “Yes”.

What we become known for and how we are perceived can have a tremendous impact on our success or lack thereof. If you’ve got aspirations of advancing in an organization, your reputation for the quality and/or quantity of work you produce will influence the decision-making process in whether to promote you. Have a good reputation and you’re impressing others while a tarnished reputation could leave you out of the running when you want to get ahead.

So when does building a reputation start? It starts when we first interact with others be that in-person, in writing or correspondence, by association with others and when we come into the awareness of those around us. Initially it starts as a first impression, then with each bit of information the other person takes in about us, their perception of us is reinforced or changed. This is why first impressions become of such critical importance in the hiring process for example. From the first inquiry, the cover letter and resume or CV, interview(s) and follow-up, we only have a limited amount of time and exposure to make a good impression on the decision-makers in the organizations we wish to work with. We do our best to build on that initial impression, all the while establishing our reputation with these people.

Making an error in a job interview therefore could be critical as we don’t have the benefit of time to give the interviewer(s) pause to re-evaluate us and see that error as out of character with our reputation. Anyone who has ever said something they realize they shouldn’t have, or who made a joke of something that didn’t go over well and wishes they could take back knows of what I speak. We don’t want the impression we create to be one of being flippant, insensitive, having poor judgement or not being a positive influence in the workplace. It is for this reason we feel anxiety in interviews; the slightest error we might make could negatively alter the other person’s perception of us and we fear not having the ability to change their initial impression which could ruin our reputation; leaving us ultimately rejected.

Those that  fear interviews and long to just be given a chance to show an employer what they can do are typically the kind of people who are banking on their ability to perform a job to enhance their chances. They know that the speed or quality of their work and adherence to safety on the job would impress the people seated across from them, but sitting and answering questions isn’t their strength. In such situations, the strategy they might be best to use than would be to provide tangible, concrete examples of what they’ve done, how others benefitted and yes, the reputation they’ve established for high quality work, a good attitude etc.

Providing references, sharing what others have said about us is another way we hope to transfer our good reputation to these people we are just meeting in the interview. So a Home Builder will for example invite a potential client to speak with the owners of homes he or she has constructed, show photos of work performed and the classic before and after shots. They home that their good work and good reputation with one home owner convinces another home owner to contract their work. Your reputation is something you can and should pay attention to. It’s a big part of your personal brand and with every interaction you have with others, that reputation is reinforced or possibly re-evaluated.

Suppose today you sat down on your 15 minute break and thought about what you’d like your reputation to be. What would you like to be known for? What are you doing that backs up and gives you credibility with respect to this goal? Now ask yourself if your actions, words and performance achievements enhance or detract from this reputation you’d like to have. If it’s important to you, you’ll do more of what builds your reputation and less of what works against it.

So what do you want as YOUR reputation? Expertise? Communication skills? Physical fitness? Helping others? Give some thought to this; you’re building one regardless so it makes sense to determine what you want.

 

 

Commitment: You’re In Or You’re Out


As an Employment Counsellor, I counted on to run workshops and lead presentations on a daily basis for those seeking employment. There are all kinds of people who attend these workshops and there are varying levels of commitment, interest and motivation to actually look for work amongst those who attend. Over the years I’ve come to understand that.

I think by the way for anyone new to the field of Social Services or as a reminder to those of us who have been in the field for years, it’s important to remind ourselves that despite our own level of commitment to serving the unemployed, it’s equally important to recognize that each person attending is an adult and responsible for their own choices. This is one of the key principles to adult education; and is a marked departure from teaching young students in schools; kids can’t just get up and walk out when they wish.

So back to my experience interacting with job seekers attending my workshop and their varying levels of commitment. One of the key things I do that is different from my peers is make a personal phone call to those that are considering opting into an intensive two-week job search group. This way, I can go over the expectations with them and I offer them the opportunity to express any doubts or concerns that might impede on their ability to attend. Point blank, I ask each potential attendee the question, “Are you able and willing to commit to this two-week block of time from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on a daily basis?”

Now if the answer is negative to the above question there isn’t any point to continuing with further details of the program, so it’s a pretty upfront and early question; one that is consistently asked of each person.

So you can imagine my surprise when every now and then someone approaches me in the actual workshop to either ask of me or inform me that they need time off from job searching to do something or attend something. Such was the case this past week. Yes I was in the room with all the participants when one gentleman said he wanted to speak to me about Eid.

Now he identifies himself as a Muslim and says that Eid being the equal of Christmas to North Americans, it’s an important day of celebration. I of course know where he’s going with this statement; he’s about to ask permission to miss time and stay home. Sure enough, he asks for Eid off to spend with his family. The fact it is Eid doesn’t really matter to me; the request is for time away from the full-time job search I invited him to attend and to which he committed to attending each and every day for the two weeks. Eid isn’t something that would have come up suddenly and unexpected; it’s an annual event; and I agree an important celebration; even being Muslim has nothing to do with it as I see it.

So how much time off he is asking for? The entire day? Half a day? I was shocked when he asked for ½ an hour; he’d arrive at 9:30 a.m. instead of the 9:00 a.m. start time I hold everyone accountable for. I agreed immediately as a show of compromise; after all, he’s an adult and I believe we are all responsible to make our own decisions. “What I will miss is mine to lose” he stated to me, and he was right.

So what happened the following day? Well, he didn’t show up at 9:30 a.m. nor at any time during the entire day. He didn’t email, phone or send his message in any format whatsoever. I was left to wonder if he was going to return at all on the following day, and I nonetheless hoped he would and prepared myself to talk with him about personal accountability, respect for me and his job searching peers.

He did call the next day and left a message indicating he wouldn’t be coming anymore; thanking me very much for the little bit of information I did impart to him. Then he indicated he had secured a full-time job in his field and wished everyone else the best.

Now I’m happy for him; I absolutely want to make that clear. I’m happy anytime a person out of work secures a job and moves towards financial independence. I can’t be entirely convinced however that this gentleman fully gets and understands what commitment is. Sure I know my employment workshop isn’t a paid job, but I do ask those attending to treat it as such. Show up at 9:00 a.m. sharp, be dressed in business casual interview attire, be focused and work hard.

I can’t help but wonder what he’ll do if and when he has another reason for needing to be away from work. How many employers are going to give an employee their blessing to miss their third day of work even for something as important as Eid? My guess is zero if they specifically asked the employee if they had anything which would prevent their attendance and then once hired they asked for time off on the second day and took the whole day when ½ an hour was agreed upon.

What are your thoughts?

 

Think Of The Implications Before You Click, ‘Like’


It happens innocently enough; you’re scrolling through your social Facebook feeds, looking at the various pictures and posts shared by your friends and then you see it. There on your screen is a post you find offensive but one of your friends has clicked on the ‘like’ button. You think, “How could they like something like that?!”

I’ve come across two such posts within a few days of each other, liked by two different people I count among my friends, and I’m perplexed in both cases. Both posts were similar in that they both were derogatory and directed at welfare recipients. The first one I saw read in large print, “Welfare isn’t meant to be a career choice.” The second said, “Welfare applicants should have to take a drug test. ‘Like’ if you agree.”

Both posts got shared with me because my friends had ‘liked’ them and they passed to me. In both cases, I see some bitter irony. One man has a family member whose full-time job is assisting welfare recipients by providing them with financial support. In the second post, the friend who shared it with me has a family member who is in a senior municipal management position and the municipality distributes social assistance. Are both these men’s opinions theirs alone or are they also opinions held by their family members? Oh and one of the two has himself been a recipient in the past of financial support!

Obviously the people or person who first created these posts feel that those on welfare should be restricted from receiving aid if they have drug issues, and everyone should have restrictions on the length of time they can receive benefits at all. I understand the idea of free speech; the principle of being able to share what’s on your mind and have your views heard. Here’s some more irony however; I replied to the first post about people making welfare a career choice, and the original poster must have decided my dissenting voice should be silenced, as my post was deleted from the thread.  Free speech goes both ways or it’s not free speech. Is the person deleting my view so insecure that they can’t tolerate a debate or differing view?

But it’s easy isn’t it; this clicking of a ‘like’ button?  Sometimes we move so fast on the scrolling that we read something and click, ‘like’ without stopping to really think about the implications. That’s a possibility for sure, and maybe my two friends did just that. On the other hand, they’ve made their views known, and this is one piece of information I learn and add to others that forms my overall opinion of them. When we see under posts, “John Doe” likes this we might even feel compelled to ‘like’ it too because John Doe is our friend. This is a lemming-like mentality however; we may want to be liked so much ourselves that we’ll do something as innocent as clicking, ‘like’ to be seen to be similar to our friends; peer influence and pressure.

There will always be people who post these things believing that they are only saying what ‘all of us’ feel. They get a lot of ‘likes’ too. I wonder though if the people who clicked ‘like’ were actually asked in person to comment on such statements if they would answer the same or differently?  What if Facebook evolved to the point where you could click on a feature that showed you all the things you and your friends liked? Imagine your profile included not only your name and picture but a summary section titled, “Here’s all the things John Doe ‘likes’”…

Somehow I think to see a summary of all the things we ‘like’ might be very revealing; revealing to us, our friends, perhaps employers too. Suppose that as a general hiring process employers visited social media, keyed in your name with the intent of seeing what you believe, what you stand for and your perspectives. After all, social media isn’t some private thing we all engage in; social media is public. So if it’s public, you knowingly consent to having your views, beliefs and ‘likes’ seen by anybody – and you’re comfortable with that. It hardly seems intelligent to say that it is somehow unfair for employers to screen your Facebook page, but anybody else is free to check out the things you make public.

So, following this logic… If the people who ‘like’ the idea of welfare applicants having to take a drug test before they qualify, I’m guessing they also, ‘like’ the idea of employers trolling their personal but public Facebook pages to see what they really believe before they qualify for the jobs they apply to. Seems perfectly logical. Do you agree or have I missed something?

What we post online that could come back to bite us is generally referred to as Digital Dirt. If you have pictures, comments and content that you think might be looked upon badly and you wouldn’t want an employer to see your views, clean up your own digital dirt. Just making something private on your own page doesn’t make it private if shared by your friends on their pages. Oh and if you think employers don’t have the right to check out your public social media pages you’d be wrong. They do have the right, and they do.

‘Like’ this post?

Repairing A Reputation


How important a factor do you think your reputation is when it comes to things like keeping your job, advancing in the company, being invited to exclusive get-togethers etc.? This article is about me and my reputation by way of example, as I’m starting now with this post to remedy damage done and restore my good name.

The odd thing is that in most cases, reputations are built or damaged, made or destroyed by intentional actions people take; where people gamble in total awareness that their actions may alienate some people or attract others. We are all so different and see things so differently as a consequence, that everything we do almost always creates a varied response. If you are trying to go for the positive, you generally take positions and actions which will be generally accepted and approved.

So let me first apologize sincerely to my LinkedIn connections; the people I value immensely from whom I learn and share with daily. The last thing I would want is to intentionally annoy you to the point where you would sever our connection, especially when my expressed goal is to broaden my intellect and understanding of issues through thoughtful dialogue.

How did I jeopardize my ongoing relationships with the on-line world? Even now I’m not sure of the technology involved. In short however, my posts which originate on a WordPress platform, were being received multiple times by my valued connections arriving in their inboxes in quantities of 35, 50, 150, 200 etc. I even blogged about that one day in a post entitled, “I’ve become the annoying guy.” And I had. Ironically, that post was a call for help, ideas, suggestions and aid and itself turned into a different call; a call from some to LinkedIn to do something. LinkedIn turned and restricted my account temporarily until I promised to adhere to their guidelines.

Can you see the problem I was facing? Adhere to the guidelines or get kicked out and banned for life. Oh oh. But the issue was simple for me – I hadn’t knowingly done anything out of the ordinary, so how could I fix it? With my LinkedIn community inaccessible, and my home anti-virus program saying there’s no internal issue at my end, what is the solution to a problem I didn’t intentionally create? Ah if only it had been a settings change I’d made then I could reverse it and all would be right with the universe again. No such joy.

Salvaging my reputation is important to me and yours should be equally important to you. After all, if you’re up for the big promotion and the HR department brings up the issue of your intoxication at the Christmas party where you propositioned the firms leading account, you might be dead in the water. How are you going to feel when the junior you trained by-passes you on the journey to the top and is now your Supervisor? Such behaviour might not only cost you the promotion, but you could be demoted, or ousted entirely as a condition of the account staying with the firm.

Well let me tell you in the interest of sharing what I’ve learned lest it happen to you how the guru’s at LinkedIn suggest I resolved my plight. Their answer is to move to my settings in LinkedIn and under the applications tab, locate the WordPress application and delete it. Apparently having it there can create multiple emails. Oddly, I’ve had this set up since February of 2012 when I started my daily blog. So it’s a head scratcher as to why in January of 2015 it acted up.

So now it will require a post on the blog itself and then a copy and paste into the various discussion groups I want to receive the post. So instead of one click to go to 12 groups, it’s 12 copy and pastes, and 12 clicks. Odd that in these days of technology and doing things faster and better that this option is more labour-intensive. I’m open by the way to hearing other people’s suggestions – oh and yours of course; yes you, the one reading this now.

Reputations take a long time to build and a very short time to ruin or damage. I feel somewhat like a guy whose wife or girlfriend is mad him for something and he’s genuinely oblivious to what he did to annoy her so. “What did I do? Just tell me and I’ll try to make it right.” Yeah I’ve been there too, but luckily not very often. Oh I make mistakes there too, I just usually know what I’ve done and how to resolve it.

So if I annoyed you personally, I regret that. I think my issue is resolved and I’ve got to say I’ll only feel better when I post this and no one screams at me with exclamation marks to fix my problem and stop sending emails in multiple forms.

Interesting to me was the great silence from the internet. How does one go about realizing just what an amazing group of people they’ve connected to via LinkedIn? Simple really, find yourself cut-off and all your communications shut down. Sometimes you just don’t realize how vital connections are until you find yourself at the party and only see the backs of all your fellow party-goers. You try to get their attention and find yourself in a sound proof box with one-way glass.

Sorry again folks.

How Can I Help You?


The blog today begins with a simple question composed of five words ranging in length from one to four letters each, and may just be the most significant and important right combination of words you could use to get ahead in your career.

What I find of great interest, is that if you invert the word, “You” to a possessive, “Me”, and you switch the word, “I” to its opposite, “You”, the question turns to what most people do in real life, which is to ask, “How can you help me?” Where the first question posed is an offer to lend aid to another, the second is a question asked to receive help while offering none. The great irony of course is that in the giving of help we often receive help ourselves in the future, but our self-image improves in the here-and-now via the act of helping.

Look at each of the five words for a minute. “How” implies that either there are multiple ways of providing assistance, or the single way is not immediately aware to the person extending the offer. Sometimes it is clearly evident how one can help, as in the case of someone’s car spinning their wheels in deep snow. What they need is a push, so you push. When you ask, “How?” it gives the other person a chance to respond with whatever they would most benefit from at a given moment. Seeing someone struggle with a project is a good example of where it may not be immediately clear what stage they are at, where help would be most welcomed, or what barrier they need help to overcome, so ask rather than assume.

The word, “can” is a positive indicating you have some ability or abilities, and it is this offer of aid you are extending. You have the capacity to do something helpful, and are making yourself available. The middle word, “I” shows ownership. You are making the offer on behalf of you; not your department, not some less-than-motivated fellow employee, just you. So the offer of assistance is made by you and you alone like a promise to take some of the responsibility for the outcome. Think of offering to help put some papers together before quitting time with someone else. Make the offer to help and you’re really taking on some of the responsibility to meet someone else’s deadline.

Lastly is the word, “help”. The word alone became a movie and extremely successful song for the Beatles. John’s use of the word however was a plea for someone to help him. In arranging the words as they are in the heading for this blog, “help” is actually extended rather than requested. And there is the crux of the entire sentence. Said in another way, “How can I help you?” becomes, “In what way or ways, am I personally able to provide assistance to you with something of importance you are working on?” Good thing we don’t talk like this everyday! Whew that’s a lot of words!

A simple five word sentence puts the concept of servant leadership into practice with regular, sincere use. You might find that if you go about your daily routines and look for opportunities to help others, rather than looking for ways they could help you, that you build your brand or reputation as one who is always quick to offer help in the workplace. An absolute must however, is your willingness and commitment to actually providing the help that is then in turn requested of you. So if you really aren’t willing to help somebody else, and you’re really hoping they just say, “No thanks, I’m good”; well, you might be surprised. If you walk away and don’t actually help in any way, your brand and reputation will also be reinforced, but in a negative way.

One thing you can do for others is make known to them the skill set you have, the talents you possess, or the contacts you know. Knowing what you have to offer may in turn make it easier for someone else to then pick out the way in which you can help them, and clarify for both of you what is offered, and what is requested. This in turn, makes it beneficial to both you and whomever you are extending an offer of aid to, for they can identify where help is needed, and you’ve offered a service, product or skill that you are making readily available.

One final thought here, is that if you offer help to someone else, they truly may not take you up on it, but at the same time really appreciate your willingness to lend a hand. Recognize that this is not always a sense of pride or arrogance, but perhaps that person is gauging their own ability to accomplish something, and best then to let your offer of help be known should they want it in the future. And should you get involved, please do make sure that you are very clear about the desired end result. You don’t want to assume you know what you are working towards only to find out that the biggest help you could provide is to just walk away.

Consider lending a hand, extending an offer of help, and build your reputation as one who is always quick to lend a hand around the workplace. You’ll feel good inside when things get done and who knows, it may actually work to advance your own career as a side benefit.