Want to help somebody? Shut up and listen.

An interesting TEDx talk recently caught my mind – Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

Shutting up. This is hard. Not helping when you are not being asked for it. This is hard.

My instinct is to jump into a debate on solutions to any given (interesting) problem that comes by. I’ve observed many times how jumping-in causes exactly the opposite reaction from the expected one. The people who had the problem lose the incentive and ambition to do something about it. And there is very little that can be done from that point on.

At the same time I am advising to a few local start-ups. The rule of thumb there is – no news is bad news. Which is exactly the opposite from my expectation. I would expect when there is a trouble, advisers are the first people start-up founders would engage. Even when the issue is internal, outside pair of eyes, ears and brains can often lead to better outcomes.

So my conclusion is that I have to be more patient and not try to help when not being asked. On the other hand I should convince people around me (in Slovenia) to try to take more advice and help from others when tackling difficult challenges. I just have no idea how to do either.


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