Buried in an Avalanche of Helpfulness
When others offer help for our struggles and problems, we usually benefit from the wisdom, the caring, and the assistance they provide. Thanks to the goodwill of those ready to lend a hand, the help we receive is typically a godsend, enabling us to sort things out or dig out of a hole.
When facing a dilemma, it is only natural to reach for those we trust for an assist. When the cavalry arrives, the problem usually shrinks to a manageable size. Never asking for help, or turning it away, is rare and thought to be an expression of stubbornness and ingratitude.
In the face of a difficult problem, only a fool turns down help, right? Unless, the help we receive makes the situation worse.
In their enthusiasm to support us, sometimes the good intentions of others can go too far. Offering too much help can be as problematic as no assistance at all.
We overwhelm people when we send reams of data behind a decision, share 20 think pieces on a problem, offer a host of ideas and remedies to address a challenge, arrange for a small army of experts to opine on an issue, or suggest multiple pathways to approach a difficult situation.
Remember this lesson when trying to help others. Don’t bury them in an avalanche of helpfulness. Work hard to be targeted and specific with the help you offer. Suggest one or two strategies, options, or solutions, as opposed to dozens. Try not to overwhelm those you wish to help with more information or data than they can process or use.
Being helpful is a wonderful virtue, as long as it doesn’t go too far. Make sure your help actually helps by keeping it simple and on-point. Who knew helping others requires self-discipline, too?