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It’s The Helpful Who Win

I just got back from the PRSM2014 conference last week. Around 2,000 people representing hundreds of companies in the facilities industry showed up to learn, sell, and network.

helpful duck

Here is the one thing I notice about people and companies at these types of events: It’s the helpful who win.

If you were there, think about this. Which booths had people at them constantly? Which people were always in a conversation? Who seemed to know everyone?

If you have ever wondered why some companies and some people are more magnetic than others, now you know. It all boils down to the helpful.

What does “helpful” mean?

At its core, helpful is serving. It’s putting your own agenda to the side and putting others ahead of yourself. It’s inviting people into your network. It’s connecting people who will benefit from knowing each other. It’s making someone else’s problem your problem and helping to get it solved. It’s asking more 5 times as many questions than the number of times you talk about yourself.

If you want to win…

…help within expecting anything in return.

The opposite of helping.

The opposite of helping isn’t refusing to help. Instead it’s manipulating favors through a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mindset. It’s setting expectations on other people’s actions based on what you did for them. Don’t manipulate. It’s not helping.

How to incorporate helping into your culture.

Teach yourself and your team to put yourself in the other person’s position.

What does their job look like? What’s on their plate right now? What could be going on outside of their work that might be affecting them?

Then ask the magic question: “What can I do for you right now that will be the most helpful to you?”

Come into the situation with understanding. Then, ask how you can help. It’s that simple.

And one more thing…don’t forget to follow through.

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