In all the personality assessments – like Strengthsfinder, EmotionaIntellegence, and Strengths Deployment Inventory, my top strengths are relationship building. I love to help people make connections. When I am having a conversation with someone I am immediately assessing who I can introduce them to – whether for personal or professional connections. It’s in my DNA to make people feel important, valued and respected. As a result, because I care so much about being respectful of people’s time, I am often cautious about asking busy people to help me, this is particularly so in my career. Our team works so hard producing events, many times well beyond the 40-hour work week. I am reluctant to seek help, because I know they are just as tired as I am. What’s ironic is I sometimes put more effort into other’s feelings than I do my own.
For the last five months I have been planning a very important women’s retreat. I knew this ambitious endeavor was going to require alot of my attention and in order for it to be successful, I was going to have to ask for help. Here’s why. For many years, the older group I also program for have told me “we don’t care what the napkin folds look like, we just want you sit down with us and visit.” Translation – stop making things perfect around you and focus on what matters – the guests. If I can empower other people to take from me the to-do list that pulls me in a million directions, I will feel and look less frazzled. The end result is I get to engage with the people I like to spend my time with. It’s very much the Mary & Martha story. Click here for the 5-lessons we can learn from this parable.
So, I reached out to 10 women and asked for their help and they all said yes! I came up with a list of areas of responsibility, had them choose what they felt was their gift, wrote up job descriptions for each person, and I assigned one member to be the volunteer coordinator. We met twice before the event to review everything that needed to be done, gave them jobs to do before hand so we were prepared – all of which gave me the extra time to focus on details and cross off checklists. By the day of the event, I was confident and rested. It felt amazing.
As I gathered the women beside me for our pep talk before we started, I shared with them my story of letting go and having others help me and how important they were to me. In return they replied how thankful they were that I asked them to help! So, everyone felt honored and valued. That’s the power of asking for help. It creates an alliance, a tribe, a community of people wanting to see each other succeed. See me in the middle of all these amazing women – see my face! That’s happiness. That’s a rested face. See all the women’s faces? Those are faces of joy! If I hadn’t been open to accept their help, I would have robbed them of the joy from our experience.
That day was my best yes. In the over 20 years I have been in the event production business, it was the best event I have ever been apart of. Our volunteers worked every single minute, thinking outside the box to problem solve. Everyone had smiles on their faces. It left me so fulfilled and thankful that I let go and listened to my instincts. I floated on a cloud that day, and the next several days afterward because I allowed someone to help me. It cost me nothing and I gained so much more in return.
Tricia Brouk says, “Saying yes means allowing room for opportunity. It means giving myself permission to try and to fail, while knowing you’ll be changed afterwards having learned something new. Saying yes, can be terrifying, but if you say yes, you might be surprised at what is possible. You can start saying yes right now. Wake up and say, yes, I’m going to hit the gym. Say yes, to how amazing you are each day. Say yes to a project that is out of your comfort zone and blow it out of the water. Say yes to trying something new and surprise yourself at the joy you feel. Say yes to staying at home with a good book because you are that important. Say yes to having the biggest life possible, because your happiness will create happiness in others. And when you say yes in business, people will be attracted to you by your willingness to say yes and your ability to back it up with expertise.”
I leaned in and I feel amazing. Ready to tackle another yes. What can you say yes to?