Be The First To Offer Help

Leadership requires action, and a leader must be the first to act. If they are not the first to act then they are a follower.

When you are THE FIRST TO HELP other people, without knowing it, we are actually helping ourselves at the same time.

1. Witnessing An Act Of Kindness

Have you ever heard of oxytocin? Oxytocin is a chemical that occurs in our brains when we help or serve others. It makes you and the person you have helped both feel good. Even witnessing an act of kindness gives us a boost of oxytocin in our brains.

After witnessing that act of kindness, that person is then more likely to do something or help another person. Oxytocin is a chemical that is contagious, so the more we have it, the better for ourselves and others in how we feel.

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When you make people feel good because you have been kind to them and helped them, they will remember how you made them feel. They will not necessarily remember exactly what you did or what you said to them, but they will remember how you made them feel.

Making people feel good because you have helped them will increase your influence with that person.

My best friend in the world is a guy called Paul, and he is a chartered psychologist specialising in people development at work and in life. He has his own personal development app and company called Wise Amigo.

The app helps people take charge of their own personal development that will enable them to be more effective throughout their careers. Paul also hosts personal development events that I have had the privilege of attending. One of Paul’s best traits that I am proud to know him for is, he is always willing to help another person.

Whether that be through his work, with his friends or with his family. It is in Paul’s DNA. He has helped me so much in the past and I am extremely grateful to him.

Speaking of me, I will always do my best to help others too. However, I need to work harder than Paul does, paying particular attention to others and being the first to help others is something that comes a bit more naturally to Paul than it does to me.

2. A Servant Leader

People who have a natural ability to help a person is what I like to know them as; a servant leader. That is what I see my friend Paul as. A servant leader who knows when a person needs help, they also offer their help to a person whether they need it or not.

A person may need help for something big or something small, it doesn’t matter to the servant leader, the tasks are all equal. The servant leader has what I like to call “a heart of gold”. I know many people with good hearts, but not many with a “heart of gold”. A person who has a “heart of gold” always offers help.

No matter how big or small the task is, the impact is the same

It could be helping a person carry their shopping home or to their car. It could be opening the door for a person. I could be giving up your seat on the train to an elderly or pregnant person. If a person has dropped something on the floor and they pick it up for them.

These are not huge things to help a person with, but I assure you the people you have helped will feel great, and that is what they remember.

As part of your team and organisation, you can help out your teammates and colleagues in many different ways. All you need to do is have the desire to help your fellow person for the good of the team, the organisation and for yourself.

3. Do You Have The Desire To Help Others?

I have the desire to help as many people as possible through writing this and my other articles, most of them I will probably never meet. If you want to help as many people as possible too, then you must first work on applying the leadership principles that I am sharing within your own life.

When I started learning these principles, it took me a while to start applying them, and when I got to a high level of knowing and applying these principles, that is when I moved from being a team member to a team leader. It took me a good few years to accomplish, but I did it.

One thing I never stopped doing was supporting others to do the same, hence this website. This is a small step to revealing who you are and the potential you have.

If you want to start increasing your influence now, then start making a deliberate attempt to help people. When offering your help, don’t expect anything in return from the person you are helping. I promise you the feeling you will get from helping another person is amazing.

If you’re ever having a bad day at work, find a person who needs help and offer it to them. Believe me, your day will turn around.

I will share with you some examples of this from my days as an engineer.

I was part of the technical team in my first role within the railway, and it was up to us to come up with new modifications to improve the performance of the trains. Even though we were a team, we were working as individuals and we wanted this to change.

So, we would offer help to our other team members whenever we weren’t too busy with other work. It surprised the rest of the engineering team because offering help wasn’t the “done thing” in those days. The help we offered wasn’t a “one-off” either, it was as much as we possibly could.

Then, after a while, the rest of the engineering team were doing the same thing, and it became the norm. We even started to attend different sites as a team for meetings in different cities, and learn from other companies. Then after a while, those companies would learn something from us.

The procurement team and the engineers on the shop floor started to do the same thing, and offer their help to their fellow engineers. It then became common practice within the business as a whole. All we needed to do was to offer our help a few times, and people started to follow our lead.

We increased our influence, hence LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE.

4. Leadership is highly visual

As a shift manager when I worked in Scotland, I remember being on nightshift and I was walking through the shop floor just checking on things. I did this a few times during the shift just in case anybody needed anything from me.

One of the facilities team members came over to me, and quite aggressively asked me for a mop. After calming him down, I wanted to know why he would come to me for a mop instead of his supervisor or even his supervisor’s line manager.

If a team member wanted something then the official route was to go to their immediate supervisor. I was baffled, not because I was too senior or too good, but I was wondering how long he had needed the mop. Why didn’t his supervisor help him? It can’t be too difficult to get the right tools to the right job for the right person.

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When I finished my conversation with the facilities team member, I had discovered that he had asked his supervisor and their line manager on a number of occasions, but didn’t get anywhere. This obviously frustrated the guy, and with it built up inside him, he lashed out at me as a last resort.

This didn’t make me feel good, but it was an opportunity for me to help this person and increase my influence with them. So, within minutes I retrieved a mop from the stores, booked it out in his name with my authorisation and he was able to continue on with his tasks.

Helping him by handing a mop to him made me feel great, and it also put a smile on his face. The frustration had gone.

That’s when you know you have helped someone, when they smile back at you.

To be a leader forever, you must help others succeed.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (Lead, Grow, Influence)

18 thoughts on “Be The First To Offer Help

  1. Hi Tom,

    Another very insightful post, thank you!

    Adam Grant, the Wharton School organisational psychologist tweeted something earlier this week this resonated again when I read this post about being the first to offer help, he suggested that the act of helping others can also reduce our own stress levels – particularly relevant at the moment. You can find the tweet here: https://twitter.com/AdamMGrant/status/1248959075439857666

    So, extra benefits to being mindful of being the first to help others, (and I’m like you, despite being Canadian, being helpful first is something that I have to actively think about).

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you have found it valuable.

      I love Adam Grant, I have watched lots of his talks on YouTube. Thank you for linking to his tweet, I really appreciate it.

      Offering others help definitely does reduce stress levels, and it makes us feel great. It gives us a shot of dopamine. Even when we see others helping others, that too gives us a shot of dopamine too. So helping others is actually good for our wellbeing.

      Keep returning, keep engaging, and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. I think I understand where you are coming from, when I am at work sometimes there is only so much you can do to help and it can be frustrating.

    But when I sit down and write posts for my blog I feel like I have more control and am giving more meaningful help and it makes me feel better for doing so.

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you need more clarification on something regarding the article or generally helping others, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Wow, Tom! What an encouraging article! If we could all practice just the small things in helping each other, what a more awesome world this would be. I had never heard of oxytocin. That is definitely worth some deeper research and making a real effort to produce in myself and others! Keep up your important mission with this site!

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      Thank you for your comment and your very encouraging words. I am so pleased that you have found this article helpful.

      Good luck in researching oxytocin. It definitely is worth looking into deeper, and if you need any help then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Keep returning, keep engaging, and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. This is a very inspiring post, and it is rare in this day in age to encounter people that genuinely and from a place of authenticity, wish to help people succeed in life, in whatever capacity that may be, without expectancy of something in return. These indeed are qualities of good leadership.

    I was brought up with a saying that it is easy to tear someone down to make yourself feel better, but it takes courage to build someone up to make them feel better about themselves.

    You display this quality of building people up, in your example of dealing with a co-worker as a shift manager, it is easy to take a frustrated situation and be reactive yourself. Only someone with real leadership skills can take the situation and turn it around by finding solutions. In doing so, unknowingly you breakdown the biggest huddle when dealing with people. You build up a trusted relationship, breaking through someones trust barrier is huge, and I am sure that person would not hesitate to approach you first in further situations.

    Thank you for your post I really enjoyed reading it, and while I don’t consider myself a natural born leader, I do try to live my life through kindness to myself and others. I think you are right, like your friend Paul, some people are just naturals and others work a little bit harder having to be a little bit more conscious. All the best Tom I know you will succeed in this endeavour.

    Regards Nadine

    1. Hi Nadine,

      Thank you so much for your very thorough comment, and your very kind words of encouragement. I am really happy that you have found my article valuable.

      It’s great that you have read through it with such conviction and you make some excellent points.

      You say you are not a natural born leader, but that shouldn’t stop you in becoming a highly effective leader. All we need to do is work on ourselves every day in becoming the best we can be. Be the best you can be at helping others and it will be good for you, for your well being, and your people.

      Thank you so much again.

      Keep returning, keep engaging, and keep leading.

      All the best Nadine,

      Tom

  5. Hi, Tom, while reading your article today, I realized that I am that person surrounded by the good people who are always ready to offer a helping hand.

    In light of the current situation, it seems that we all got even busier than we have ever been.

    So, I woke up today with a proposal to offer some paperwork help from my sister and only that initiative made me feel so good.

    Also, my mother is I believe the person who is permanently helping people with what she can, sometimes even saving people’s lives.

    If every person on our planet would adopt offering help and not expecting anything in return, could you imagine how better our world could become?

    1. Hi Natalie,

      Thank you for amazing comment. I’m so pleased you found the article valuable and made you realise that you and your family are already helping others. Keep it up.

      As you say, if more people throughout the world were to offer their help without expecting anything in return, our world would be such a better place. I love that you can imagine that world, especially with what is happening in the world at the minute.

      Keep returning, keep engaging, and keep leading.

      All the best, and stay safe.

      Tom

  6. Hi Tom

    I really enjoyed your post. You’re right, it does feel good to help. Unfortunately my boss had a family member come down with corona so i offered helping in little ways at work that helped free up his time to go home and be there for his partner who was struggling with the news. This made me feel good by doing my bit. Id dint realise we had such a thing as Oxytocin. Thank you for your post

    1. Hi Russ,

      Thank you for your amazing comment. I’m really happy that you enjoyed the article.

      It’s great that you have offered help to your family member who unfortunately come down with corona. It’s even more important these days to offer help to people who are in so much need of it. It definitely does make you feel great and the more we help others the even better we will feel. Keep it up.

      Keep returning, keep engaging, and keep leading.

      All the best and stay safe,

      Tom

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comment. Really pleased you found the article fascinating.

      Helping others is even more important nowadays while we are in lock down.

      All the best and stay safe,

      Tom

    1. Hi Jace,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found the article awesome.

      It’s great to hear that you have a strong belief in leadership and helping others. Make sure you keep that up and do your best to help others where you can during these tough times.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. Hi,

    Just wanted to let you know, great post! You are right in what you say. I only just earlier today found myself running up the street after some random dog i knew had escaped from somewhere. Took it back down the street and found the owner.

    Few weeks ago, seen someone struggle with a wheelchair up a ramp. As I was driving past, I pulled over and stopped. Jumped out helped them up the ramp. The guy nearly fell as I was pulling up.

    Imagine being in that position yourself, it’s enough of a struggle.

    It costs nothing to help, can’t stand people who love to watch others struggle.

    Anyway, thanks for the good read,

    Alan

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words. I’m so pleased you found it valuable, and that you are helping others.

      Your story of helping the person in a wheelchair is so inspiring, well done to you. I bet it made you feel amazing.

      Keep up the amazing work and keep helping others where you can.

      All the best,

      Tom

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