How Can I Help YOU?
We have all walked into a store and heard the phrase “Hi, how can I help you?” …
This amazing tool of discovery and understanding has simply become a customary greeting.
This week at The New School in New York City, Ron Cordes of the Cordes Foundation gave a brilliant speech on the importance of asking this question.
He told the group that he believed he had all the answers.
But after meeting the people on the ground he started to realize that many checkboxes were left unfilled. The people had a far different list of problems and solutions built from their collective experiences.
He had forgotten to ask one fundamental question… How can I help you?
This question reminded me of the importance of working together with others INSTEAD of dictating the way they should live their lives.
Imagine how our understanding of each other could be improved if we asked “How can I help you?” …
- Imagine if the Toronto-based charity, Raising the Roof, asked “How can I help you?” before asking homeless to read mean tweets about themselves for a video campaign.
- Imagine if The Sergeants Benevolent Association, New York’s largest police union, asked the homeless “How can I help you?” before they encouraged people to take photos of the homeless trapped in their situation.
- Imagine if the two teens stopped and said “How can I help you?” before beating a 52-year old homeless man to death in Virginia.
So, how can I help you?
To understanding before action,
Sam Sawchuk, Co-Founder, Sandwich for a Story