“How can I help you?”

I ask a lot of questions. If you’ve spent over 15 minutes with me, you know that to be true. Whether or not you think my questions are annoying, there’s one question I think we can all ask more. “How can I help you?” Here’s why:

1. It’s open ended. If you ask someone this question, you’re not giving him or her an opportunity to say “no.” You’re assuming you can help and telling him or her that you’re already prepared to jump in.

2. It shows you care. If you ask this question to one of your employees, it’s a total win-win. Adding “how can I help you” in front of “finish this task by the deadline” says that you are willing to help, and that you want the task done. Your employee gets the opportunity to ask any questions necessary to complete the task, and you get to remind him or her to make it happen.

At this point you’re probably thinking that I have done some overthinking on this topic. You’re probably right. Keep reading.

3. It’s helpful. This reason is probably the most apparent of the three. But I think that us humans need to help each other more. Not that many people truly need help, but I’d venture to guess most people really appreciate being helped. Call me green, but I think taking time to help someone is an investment worth making.

So there you have it. What do you think? Do you have a go-to question that seems to work for you? Comment below, I like feedback!

Cheers to the weekend,

JP