Why Your Workplace Help is Missing the Mark (And How You Can Fix It!)

Here is why your workplace help is missing the mark and how you can fix it!

Help In Workplace: The Choice

This is a real-life happening from one of my product teams related to workplace help.

I have a technically excellent team member. We will call him P.

P has been working on an important project with a steep deadline. 

But recently, P decided to help another team member for almost the whole day on another project with somewhat lesser business importance.

He missed his deadline on an important project. The business is still suffering the consequences of P’s choice.

P is a great team member with excellent technical skills. But he could not stay on course. 

The Management Decision

Was P sacked? 

No. But he had to be reprimanded. 

“It is okay to help the others if it takes 10-15 minutes of your time.

It is also okay to help others if it takes more time but does not impact the project in focus; otherwise, that help is a waste of business resources!”

~ Some day in Feb 2021
You have power to make your choices — not outside influences. Realize this, and you will find your performance mark! ~ UV (Utpal Vaishnav Quote)

Any respectable business works on defining priorities and performance. You disregard the priority, and you are a poor performer. 

In my team, it is acceptable to make mistakes. But not the same mistake twice. 

When you are working on an important project, you get everything done to deliver that project. 

Nothing more, nothing less. 

That’s the fundamental responsibility. That’s what makes you a performer and provides the perks. 

In business, helping others is great, but not always. Not at the cost of your own performance. That’s not running an extra mile, that’s an inappreciable performance glitch!

Note to Self

  1. When you are working on a project, stay on-course. Or don’t participate in the project.
  2. Helping others is noble only if it does not impact your own performance. Put your oxygen mask first
  3. Mistakes are acceptable as long as they are used as stepping stones to learn and get better at the core craft. 

Think for yourself. 

Money Lending: What to avoid?

When we face any challenge, many of us look for help from our close circle.

If any person in our close circle is well-to-do, then we often start expecting that he’ll help in solving our life problems.

In most cases though, this causes troubles for everyone in our circle.

This is the real-life story of X. X was a good-hearted 25-year-old.

X got married and started his life. Because he took the entrepreneurship path, his life had its own struggles and as one can imagine, it included money-issues as well.

One fine morning, X got a call from a close family member: he needed ₹ 50k for 3-4 days. X’s total saving at that time was no more than ₹ 15k.

X wanted to help and had no idea how the world works so he borrowed the money from another close family member and lent it.

Though the ₹50k amount was not easy for the other family member, X managed to get it based on his little credibility.

X had no idea how the world works so X chose to loan the money to someone despite the fact that he was not the owner of that money!

After 15 days, X was asked to return the money.

The money did not come back.

So X politely requested the borrower to return. The borrower promised to return it back within 2-3 days.

Some more weeks passed.

The money did not come back.

X got to know one more thing – the borrower also borrowed ₹30k from X’s best friend without X’s knowledge.

X was an amateur and so were his decisions. He was yet to learn how the world works.

X chose to repay his best friend on behalf of the borrower out of his personal savings.

This was the time where monthly salaries were no more than ₹ 5-6k so the borrowed amount was a big chunk of money. X’s income was around ₹ 6k a month.

After many months 50% of the money came back. It was also apparent that the borrower had all good intentions but his situation was not in his control.

The borrower’s history was excellent: he never defaulted in any human aspects of relationships. He had been a good, loving human being.  But the truth was – neither the borrower, not X understood how the world works.

X passed through a lot of stress. He never had borrowed any money from anyone for any of his personal or business needs but in order to help the apparently needy borrower, he borrowed the money despite his counter-beliefs.

However, based on this episode, X learned what he had to: Never “lend” any money to anyone. If you feel you must help, then consider it as that day’s expense and do not expect it to return.

Of course, if the money comes back, great. If it does not come back, okay. This is an effective way to remain “calm” and not “unhappy.”

Unlike X, 99% of people do not conclude such things from such experiences. they become bitter.

When people become bitter, they and their close family members suffer.

Understanding how the world works is super-crucial if one wants to live a regretless life.

The world works based on certain principles, which are in accordance with nature. If a Cloud does not have water embedded in it, it won’t rain or if the seed does not have substance, it would not grow. You got the idea.

Not surprisingly, the world will make people understand how it works and not in a nice way. The world does not have any bias, it has its own function which cares nothing about our likes or dislikes.

Eventually, X became a successful entrepreneur … experiences like these have shaped his thinking, his awareness, and how he sees the world.

Note to Self:

  1. People don’t want to take total responsibility for their own lives, so they choose an easy path and expect others to solve their problems. Beware of them and their impact on our lives.
  2. Lend money only when you can consider it as an expense without any expectations of return.
  3. If you don’t have the money to lend, do not borrow it to lend it to others. It is a surefire recipe to invite a disaster in life.
  4. We are the designer of our own life experiences, we have all the power to cause situations to serve us…or not. Up to us!