With a Little Help from my Friends

Today I gave a presentation with the Women Lawyers of Franklin County. Yes, with them. Although I was scheduled to speak TO them, I knew better than to do that.

I was brought in to help them speak with confidence. I am not an attorney. So the only thing I had to share with them that I am an expert on is sharing my story of the subject and then offering key questions. To make this happen I needed to have their engagement, so I asked for their help.

I involved them in key demonstrations and meaningful conversations, when it mattered. And all I had to do was invite them forward, ask my questions and let them respond. In this way they demonstrated what it took to speak with confidence/or not, to break down their fear/or not, and I could guide them through this discovery.

What did it take for me to do this? It took knowing when to shut up. What this really means is, asking for help. Any time I ask for help – depending on how I do it, that is – I get people eager to participate. Now it may take a moment or two, but once someone decides to help, plenty of others do as well. That is such an enjoyment to watch – an experiment in control all of itself.

By the end of the presentation, people were running into each other making their way to me to say what a great presentation it was! And I just laughed to myself because I knew what they really meant – they loved having the chance to get involved. To see others they knew well actually be up front in meaningful dialogue over things that really matter.

Yes, Merri, it does matter when you step aside and ask for help. Do it more often. Friendships built on likability and trust come from it.

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On April 6th, 2010, posted in: asking for help, confidence, controllling self, shutting up by