Asking for help is supposed to be one of the hardest things people do. I think it is probably harder for people to recognize when they need help.
Photo: Shark by StormyDog, from Flickr.
There’s this guy–I call him the shark–who desperately needs help. Except he doesn’t seem to recognize that he does. The shark is a guy who hasn’t quite mastered what we call “social skills.” More to the point, he doesn’t know how to start or maintain a conversation. He doesn’t have much to say even though he is dying to connect. This guy has been attending social events for the last twenty years and instead of making friends, he scares people away (thus why I call him the shark: he circles around making you feel he is going to injure you). He comes up to women, whether or not they seem open to conversation, and stands there, expecting the woman to converse with him. What’s worse is he has nothing to say. He’s awkward and seems desperate. The bottom line is he needs help.
Sadly, the shark has been using the same “strategy” for twenty years: go to an event, and hope that someone will talk to him. What he should do is try a different strategy. One in which he recognizes that what he is doing doesn’t work, and then get some help figuring out what does work -either from a therapist or a dating coach.
But before you think this is about people needing therapy, plenty of businesses and organizations also have communications problems. Nobody understands what they do. Nobody “gets” their message, if they even have one. These organizations need help.
As I said before, recognizing you need help is the hardest part. Here are some clues that your organization may need communications help:
1. You’ve been doing the same thing over and over, and getting no results.
2. You can’t explain in two or three sentences what you do.
3. You are not “engaging” with your audiences–nobody “likes” your Facebook page for example.
4. Your sales/donations are down.
You need help. Don’t be like the shark, scaring your potential customers and donors away because you just don’t know how to communicate!