I had an interesting conversation today at work. A friend asked me for advice on a situation she was having. I told her I would be glad to offer any feedback that I could.

Let me start by saying this: She is extremely good at her job. Many people know this. In fact, they seek out her help because she’s good at what she does. However, there are some that want her to do their work instead of putting her counsel in the action.

She was frustrated. She wants to be helpful. She does not want to do their jobs for them. I totally understand that. When I asked her whose responsibility it was to perform the work, she knew the right answer. But, she began to apologize that she was frustrated about the situation.

I reminded her of the confidence I have in her work. There have been several times I have had to send project work to her knowing full well that she will complete it with excellence. I also commended her for her desire to be helpful and to do a good job. I did share with her is that she should not apologize for expecting others to do their own work. That is just life.

Where is the line between being helpful and enabling others to be lazy? For me, I want to be helpful to the team. Many times there are things that I can do faster and easier than others because I’ve done the job for longer. I don’t see a problem with this, if it is truly helping the person requesting the assistance and I have a choice to perform the work.

Much of this revolves on the way that you are asked for the help. In the situation I described above, the requestor was trying to pass off work that they didn’t need help with. Not cool.

I love helping people. It part of who I am. Because of this, when I ask for help I always want to show gratitude. It’s just the right way to be.

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