Communication is key


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Person 1 – “Can you help me with X? Won’t take but a couple of minutes.”

Person 2 – “I’m busy. Can it wait till later?”

Person 1 – “Ok…..”

Person 2 – “Goes on social media complaining about nothing to do for 3 hours.”

I’m sure we all have had this type of conversation at some point in our lives. Whether we’re Person 1 or 2, I’m sure this irritates everyone involved in some form or fashion regardless of something work related, home, quick advice on a product, etc. We all (myself included) have done this at least once in our lives.

If we’re Person 1, were you clear on what type of help is actually needed? Most of the time people are more inclined to offer you a couple of minutes if you’re specific on the what rather than the help portion.

“I need a second opinion between X and Y product”

“Help me carry this over there please?”

“Hold this while I clean under here?”

“Last night, did X and Y occur?”

If you’re Person B, what do you actually need to do that’s so important where you can’t take a couple of minutes out of your time to help? Bad timing due to being busy elsewhere? Just don’t feel like it? Someone else can do what’s asked of you? In the middle of a video game you can’t pause?

“Let me use the bathroom first then I can help”

“One minute, I’m doing X first”

“I’m on the phone, one sec”

“Let me find a safe spot in this game” or “Let me find a spot to pause the game”

“Hang on, kids screaming”

The part on running to social media only slows things down, and also makes it seem like you’re not willing to help at all, regardless of how much time you spend outside “Be right back” or something similar.

I bring this up today because there’s far too many times I’ve caught people being Person 2 for no apparent reason outside pure laziness, or because they didn’t feel like it. Seeing this in 3rd person (from the outside) only made the situation worse from my perspective because there was no reason whatsoever to ignore Person 1 which would have taken less than 30 seconds. What does Person 2 need that extra 30 seconds on? At least find someone else to help if you’re unable to, its simple courtesy and respect.

My challenge to you today is this: Whenever someone asks for help, and if you’re able to help them, great!. If you’re in the middle of something, at least inform the person you will be right there, or you’re busy with something (and say what it is) and you will be right there when you hit a moment to stop. If you’re the one asking for help, be more specific so everyone is on the same page. At the end of the day, this is a simple case of building better communication between everyone involved.

Remember: Communication is key. Ninety Nine percent of the time communication is the basis of all problems and solutions. It’s up to you and those involved on which side this quote lands on.

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