This week I had my second meeting with my Peer Mentor and it was another good one. Each time we meet Garrett has a recommended agenda that ensures each meeting will be productive and avoids the “So, what do you want to talk about today” condition that can be stifling. However, he always gives us permission to deviate from “the script” and go wherever the moment takes us. The topic was “Collaboration” and this time we stuck to the agenda. We were asked to share the biggest challenge facing us currently, but that wasn’t all. We were supposed to ask our mentor to assist us with the challenge – not just give advice on how to deal with it.
When I first read that I thought, “Since my biggest challenge is something I need to do at/for work and Mike can’t work on that, I better pick some other challenge that he can help with.” Then, when I shared this thought with Garrett he pushed back. “Why limit Mike and possibly miss a great opportunity for him to collaborate with you?” That’s when I realized that this sort of pre-qualifying others for their help is something that I do a lot. How many times at work, at home, at church, or elsewhere have I faced a situation that I could use some help but I tell myself, “(that person) can’t help you with that”, so I never ask. Even when that person is there to help!
I don’t know if this is function of pride (I don’t really need the help), or trying to save the other person from having to say, “Sorry, I can’t help with that”, or being afraid that they may reject me and refuse to help. Whatever it is, I’m sure that it has cost me many many hours and dollars trying to struggle on my own. Further, how many people have I denied the opportunity to be helpful to me. When I do that it is truly lose-lose.
After this session, I’ve decided that I would be more open with those around me who may have abilities that I’m unaware of that would be perfect for my present challenge. Who is in your circle that would be happy to help you in ways that you didn’t even know they could?