What they are trying to say is I am complicating a very simple thing in lifegiving and getting help. I respectfully disagree. This two-part article will establish the relevant background for the topic and provide a few ideas on how to get better at this fundamental skill that each one of us should develop.
If I say We all need help every now and then, I dont think any of you will flinch. However, when it comes to technology professionals, the behavior in this area does not always follow logic. Typical technology professionals try to solve their problems alone. The concept of getting help is generally treated as Googling.
Being in the IT world, you can be rest assured that you are in some sort of a crunch all the time. So, here is what (in some combination) may happen when you receive a request for help:
Simply put, you may be the only person the requester has approached for help but you may have many such requests from many individuals. Do you now see the complexity of the problem?
There is no simple solution for this complex situation. Here are a few things to consider before you jump to provide that help:
Committing to diagnose: If you are in a hurry, you may think that you can save time by just offering the help that has been requested. Most often, you will be wrong.
Typically, the person requesting the help will have thought of a solution and is coming to you for help to put the solution in place.
If the persons diagnosis of the underlying problem is not right, the solution wont be right and you helping him or her wont solve the underlying problem.
Look at the forest: Every small commitment when looked at in isolation will seem easy to fulfill. It is the sum total of all the commitments that will cause you to slip.
So take extra care before you say Yes to those seemingly small commitments. It is better to say No than to sign up and fail to deliver.