Are you maximizing your resources?
Lessons from my school daysI remember a discussion with one of my graduate professors where he was expressing frustration at his students. He shared with me that he thought students were some of the worst consumers in the market place. I pressed him to explain what he meant, he told me he found it odd that students would pay or take out large loans for an education and then not use all the resources that they had purchased.
This professor spoke about how students would struggle with a class but would not press the professor to teach further about that topic until the student understood the material. The other resources that many students had available to them but few would take advantage of included the professor’s lecture notes, various academic and professional articles and lastly, study and review sessions that the professor offered either personally or through his graduate assistant.
This memory made me think again about the topic of resources and how we use or do not use them.
What is a resource?A resource is a person or thing that can be leveraged to help us overcome an obstacle. I do not mean that the only reason that you have friends is simply to use them for your own selfish purposes.
Relationships are often two way streets and require investments from you in order that you might call on those relationships to help with a challenge that you are facing.
Why do we not maximize our resources?I think that there are two main reasons that we do not fully utilize our resources.
1. We are not aware of the resources around us
2. Asking our human resources, our network feels like we are inconveniencing them
Not being aware of the physical resources around us is a matter of not understanding all of an item’s features or uses. It is also a matter of not understanding, how the conventional or creative features relate to your situation at hand.
Reaching out to our network of friends and family can become so difficult that we often leave these valuable resources on the shelf.
As a business and personal coach, when my clients are in need of assistance I ask them if they have reviewed all of their resources. Often, their responses are that they have listened to pod casts, read books, searched on-line or even signed up for a class. It is a rare client that also includes in this list their personal contacts.
Asking for assistance is difficult; it means we are not as self-sufficient as we want to be.
To move past this feeling of being vulnerable or putting others out, I remind my clients of the following that I believe is true:
• Your network wants to invest in you as you are invested in them
• People are generally good and will go out of their way to help when directly called upon
• If your network can not help you, they may open their network to you as another resource
• People love being “the hero” (give them the chance to have that role)
Coach’s Wrap UpWhen you are working through issues or challenges, keep an eye out and use every resource you have. Your network is one of the biggest and most dynamic resources you will ever have, do not be afraid reach out to people directly for help. In general people love to have the chance to rise up to the challenge and use their expertise to help others who can use a hand.
Have you ever left some of your personal resources “on the self”? How much stress did that add to your work or life? How have you overcome your reluctance to ask for help?