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Over the course of his thirty-year career in public television, Fred Rogers taught us about ourselves, others, and the world around us. The messages he shared on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood helped us feel good about who we are, with our relationships with others, and how to wonder and learn. 

As I was writing this article, I came across several quotes from Mister Rogers about helpfulness. I noticed that they applied as much to our professional lives as they do to life in general:

  • “Real strength has to do with helping others.”
  • “What really matters is helping others win, too, even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.”
  • “All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.”
  • “I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.”

Helpfulness is one of Revel’s core values. The benefits of being helpful extend far beyond work. According to a report by Deloitte, 74% of people that volunteer feel a sense of purpose in addition to an increase in well-being. Being a person that is more helpful has also shown to increase your lifespan and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment in the work that you do. 

Help is a two-way street – offering help, as in the examples above, and asking for help. Face it, many of us are control freaks. Sometimes, as humble as we are we let our egos get in the way of asking for help. Other times, we’re just too darn stubborn to admit we need a hand. In those instances, The Muse offers some practical advice on how to ask for help on the job when certain situations arise:

1. When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

Try This: “Hey, I’m feeling a little confused about the details of the XYZ project. Could we set a time to sit down, talk through the nuts and bolts of this assignment, and make sure we’re on the same page?”

2. When You Have Too Much on Your Plate

Try this: “I hate feeling like I’m trying to pass off work on other people, but I’m totally swamped right now. If you have any extra time, would you mind helping me with the XYZ aspect of this project? I know that’s your area of expertise, and I’d really appreciate your help and insight!”

3. When You Made a Mistake

Try this: “I’m so embarrassed, but I completely messed ABC up, and now I need XYZ done in order to fix it. I’m so sorry for the confusion and extra work. I really appreciate your help!”

4. When You Need Additional Expertise or Insight

Try this: “I’m working on XYZ project, and I’d love your expert insight on this particular area. Can we set up a time when we can chat and bounce some ideas off of each other? I really think your input could take this project to the next level!”

Helpfulness is not only an admirable quality, it leads to longer, happier lives. Even before we adopted it as one of our values, we were already good at helping each other. I can recall half a dozen times last week alone when someone raised their hand or said “yes” without hesitation when I needed help. Those generous acts made my week better. Mister Rogers would be proud.

Jason is a Partner and the CEO at Revel, a B2B marketing agency. He is a diehard baseball fan who loves his Detroit Tigers. Family vacations often revolve around seeing games in different MLB ballparks around the country – they’ve been to 21 so far and counting. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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