How do you feel when your colleague comes to you for help answering their questions?
You want them to be successful in their jobs and their tasks. You might be able to help them overcome a roadblock or get the information they need.
Maybe you feel very open and willing to help a colleague out anytime. Or maybe you need them to learn to help themselves. You can help, but they need to meet you in the middle. You still need to take care of yourself and your work!
What is the best way to ask you for help?
Set your expectations explicitly, so that your teammates can help you help them, and help everybody win. Here are some examples you can use:
- “Before you ask me for some information, please make sure you’ve Googled it or searched our internal information system.”
- “If it’s a quick question, just ask! I know all this stuff off the top of my head.”
- “I’m happy to show you how to search for this kind of information yourself, so you won’t need me next time!”
- “If you come to me with 2 or 3 possible answers you think might be right, I’ll help you understand which one it is and why.”
Personally, I like to “teach a person to fish.” I’ll show them how to find the answer themselves. Next time, they won’t need to come to me. And soon they’ll even be able to help somebody else!
Try having this conversation with a colleague next time they ask you a question, and see how it positively impacts your work environment. Share your results in the comments!
Ways of Working
“Ways of Working” is a multi-part series of quick tips to personalize your workplace culture and make it work for you and your colleagues.
If you want help understanding and communicating your own Ways of Working, or if you want to run a Ways of Working workshop with your team, send me a message! Let’s talk.
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