Is this the most help I can give in this moment?
“Is this the most help I can give in this moment?” That is the question I’m asking myself during small interactions.
It started because of the fast-paced nature of my work environment. My companies are virtual, and while I think that’s an amazing way to manage a company, it has its drawbacks. Working virtually lends itself to quick and often careless communication.
Has this scenario ever happened to you? You are in the middle of something and in the zone, but somehow, someway, you find yourself in your inbox. You see an email from a co-worker asking a question. You half-read the email, think you understand the question, and fire off a response. Your co-worker gets the response. It isn’t helpful. They follow up with another question, and the cycle continues.
I find myself on both sides of that scenario too often. I finally realized when I’m the one hastily checking email and firing off responses if I can force myself to pause and ask, “Is this the most help I can give in this moment?” it dramatically improves the quality of my response and my overall helpfulness.
Asking the question helps me slow down and think. It usually makes me give more detail and context around my answer, meaning that follow-up questions are unnecessary, saving time.
In asking, “Is this the most help I can give in this moment?” I’m asking if I can take a small additional step to make someone’s day a little better. At times there is nothing more I can do in that moment, which is fine. But it goes a long way when I can spare an extra 30-seconds to give someone more help.
Great leadership reading from this week.
Why it finally may be time to hire a Chief Leadership Officer - This idea makes a lot of sense for any company of a decent size. Often leaders don’t think enough about how they lead. A dedicated person to that task seems great!
How to train your brain to become more patient at home and at work - This article suggests asking yourself, “Will this thing that’s making me so impatient matter in five hours? How about five days? Five weeks? Five years?” I love that!
Some Questions Benefit from Group Discussion. Others Don’t. - A recent study found, “when it comes to yes/no decisions, we found that group deliberation actually reduced the likelihood of making the correct choice.”
This week I’m thinking about planning my minutes.
I just wrapped up the book Deep Work this week. One of the book's suggestions is to plan your day by the minute, in an actual notebook, writing out what tasks you will do and when. I’ve tried different approaches to planning my day, but I’ve never written the whole thing (tasks and all) out in a notebook. So far, it’s been amazing!
Other great reading from the week
Reading carefully is the new listening, and writing clearly is the new empathy - My friend Mickey Mellen writes a great daily blog (and substack), and this post got me. I’m often guilty of not reading carefully; this post inspired me to improve.
Everything You Didn’t Know About the Trusty Tape Measure - I do a lot of DIY projects, and I learned quite a bit from this article.
Interesting podcasts from this week
Yamiche Alcindor - Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me - If you haven’t heard your week’s news from this fantastic podcast, you are missing out!
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y’all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
TogetherLetters - My podcast about the app that I’m helping build to keep people better connected.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
TechBridge Talks - A podcast about using technology to end generational poverty.
That’s a wrap!
Did you find anything helpful here? Pay me back by sharing it with someone. Thanks for reading!