How Can I Help?
If you have watched the new Show on NBC called New Amsterdam you know that those four words make up the mantra of the protagonist. Those four words are unremarkable by themselves…. HOW denotes a question of something’s condition or quality design or action; CAN specifies some form of ability; I centralizes on ones self; and HELP denotes an action of assistance. With these words combined to How Can I Help, no matter the context, it’s unmistakable that there is a willingness of selflessness and a form of vulnerability where someone is offering assistance to another without a stated desire for reciprocity.
So where am I going with this?
Well, during my MBA orientation with Syracuse University, Amy McHale, Assistant Dean for Master’s programs at Whitman School of Management-Syracuse University executed what I found to be the most ingenious networking activity. 40 professional Adult learners were each handed 4 sticky notes. The instructions were for each of us to write on one sticky note our three most desired needs or wants for professional development or advancement. We then wrote on each of the remaining three sticky notes the same three things that we were proficient at or could offer to another professional that would be of benefit.
We then took turns tacking our “Wants” sticky notes onto a board with only pre-placed numbers as identifiers. Dr Mchale then had all of us take our three “Can help” sticky notes, place our distinct number from the board on each sticky, and go up to examine all of the “Wants” notes that had been placed on the board. When we found a professional with a need or want that we could meet, we would place our “Can help” sticky note underneath that persons sticky.
After all sticky’s were placed we were then allowed to approach the board and retrieve the sticky’s from those willing to help us and had to work the room to find out whose sticky belonged to who by actually talking to people. Through this networking, we were able to see who could help us and with what. It was an eye opening experience. Because of our own prejudices and assumptions, many of us realized that we most likely never would have conversed with those individuals whom we learned we could assist or those that could assist us during the entire three day orientation. This would be solely based on our natural human tendencies to outreach only with those we believe we would be comfortable around.
Lessons from this exercise!
Though I’m speaking for myself, I feel comfortable inferring that my classmates took away some of these same realizations. Since we could only place three sticky’s, it showed us that we do not have infinite time or resources to help everyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t impact those we can. We never knew who posted what needs or wants utill the “working the crowd” phase, so it taught us the importance of approaching each connection with an open mind without assumption to their net worth! It also emphasized the importance of diversity since you are guaranteed to learn more from the whole than the sliced segmentation of your normal niche group. Lastly, we drew lines from each of our wants sticky’s to each number corresponding to a sticky offering us help. The result was amazing. A board of completely intermixed networks. It truly showed that in this new age, there is no more six degrees of separation!
This brings me to my purpose with this article (MY CALL TO ACTION)!
So my goal is to turn those three HOW CAN I HELP? sticky’s into three-thousand by creating a LinkedIn HOW CAN I HELP? virtual bulletin board campaign under the hashtag #How_Can_I_Help?
I will start this off first by listing the three things I desire the most to advance professionally and the three actions I am most able to perform to assist others with. All I ask is that you post on your wall the three things you desire professionally and three ways YOU can help another person with. Use #How_Can_I_Help when posting and tag as many professionals in your network so the chance to affect change reaches those you may have never met otherwise. Understand though that those who take you up on your offer to help, might not have the expertise or ability to help your three wants.
Additionally, those whom reach out to assist you, you may find you do not have the ability to answer the call to any of their wants. This is ok. Not every connection will require mutual benefit on the surface. That mutual benefit may be paid out over time. You may know someone or they may know someone that can meet that persons needs! That is just as good as you solving their need yourself, as long as you make that warm handoff. This is where the power of the intermingled network comes in! Let’s see how many positive connections come out of this and how many peoples desires come to fruition as a result. Feel free to post the results of your connection experiences and place the hashtag moniker so all can see! Good luck all, and HOW CAN I HELP?
WHAT I DESIRE
1. Career opportunities in Marketing Management/Brand Management in the Greater Atlanta Area
2. Mentorship on what the trending marketing tools/technology are and those commonly used in the industry
3. Networking introductions with marketing professionals and veterans in the marketing space
HOW I CAN HELP
1. Advice on careers in the military for Job seekers interested in military careers and professional development mentorship for those currently serving
2. Access to connecting with military personnel transitioning and key stakeholders with ties to military installations for civilian employers and recruiters; access to my network of Veteran Service Organizations and influencers for transitioning or transitioned veteran job seekers
3. Instruction on DoD Skillbridge/Air Force Career Skills Program, Veteran Service Organizations, Higher Education, and transitioning key take-aways for military and business leaders