I’m Yorkshire born and bred; we’re quite straight forward, we have good values – and good manners. If someone asks for our help, we’ll always try. And if we can’t help directly, we’ll sign post to others who can. What we don’t do is ignore the requests for help. As my mum always says; “Good manners cost nowt”. This week I was reminded that some people need to think about theirs.
Yesterday I was lamenting the fact that as we try to develop our careers we often reach out to others who do what we would like to do. We see their success and are curious to know how they got there. How long did it take? What were the challenges? What are the gems they never knew which would be helpful to share? How does it feel to have their success?
So we take the bold move – which believe me, takes some guts – to either email or call and reach out for help.
And we get nothing. Calls are not returned. Emails receive no response. Manners are out of the window.
It can make us wonder if the people in the industry in which we want to work maybe aren’t the right people for us. We doubt our approach and worry we’ve said the wrong thing. It’s hard not take it personally and feel demoralised. We start to question if we’re doing the right thing – and we doubt anything we may have achieved in our career to date.
And why? Because the people we reached out to don’t have the manners to spend 1 minute to offer us the courtesy.
So to those people I say, read this:
- Be flattered. It takes guts to ask for help. You’ve impressed someone and they want to learn from you. Wow.
- Always respond to emails. If you can’t help, fine. Just don’t leave me wondering, it’s really not good manners. Maybe try and give me a pointer at least, if you can’t help directly.
- Take my call. If you can’t talk there and then at least tell me when’s good to call back. Again, if you can’t help directly, point me elsewhere; just don’t always send my call to your voicemail.
- Mentoring is so rewarding. I’ve been a mentor and coach to lots of people over the last 15 years and it’s amazing to see them grow and develop. You get to share in their success when they get a promotion or a new role and know you played a part in that.
- What goes around, comes around. You’re not that big to never need help from someone sometime. That person you once ignore might be the very person you need later down the line.
- You were once in my shoes, remember? On your journey to a successful career you probably reached out to others for help and had mixed reactions. Just think about how that felt before you ignore the next appeal for your expertise.
If you have an example when you have helped someone with your knowledge and expertise please share it below. I like to think there are more good people than bad eggs out there.