We All Need It There are a lot of situations in life where we need help. I don't believe that there are many people who have not been assisted by someone else at some point in their lives whether that is simply through verbal support, or help to overcome a hurdle that one faces in a personal or professional way.
Some years ago, I was managing an employee assistance program and had a number of my own clients as well. It was a busy position involving not only the day to day issues facing a counselling program but the assigned additional duties involving committees and its related commitment.
Room For One More On the one hand, I did not have a lot of time to take on new clients but there was always room for one more, after all, helping people
in need was part of my responsibilities. This person, and I will not identify
male of female or use names or positions because I respect privacy
and confidentiality, met me in the hallway near my work area
and asked if I could talk to them for a few minutes.
Those few minutes turned out to be an hour. And that hour led to an
almost daily meeting to discuss the issues that were being faced
and exploring what this person could do to attempt to overcome them.
Confidence Built These conversations, once a strategy was decided and once
the individual had succeeded in building their confidence
enough to tackle these issues, despite dealing with a rather difficult manager,
dwindled to once a week, and then to chance meetings in the hallway, or
an occasional telephone call. At each of these chance meetings or calls,
progress was discussed and strategies refined. During all these conversations
this person demonstrated a stronger and stronger personal presence,
a level of confidence that would be the envy of many executives and
the perseverance of a tiger on the hunt.
A Relationship Not Expected As with all clients, once the issue has been sufficiently handled
or resolved there is little if any continuing dialogue, and there is absolutely
no intention to form a lasting friendship.
How wrong I was. Because of my work location being near to the former client, I occasionally ran into this person and was always brought up to date on the on-going issue and on their life
in general. What was unexpected was that this person continued to relate how I had helped them gain a level of self-confidence that saw them through many other
issues both personal and professional.
How A Life Affects Others And, the beauty of this new found confidence spilled over to their family, colleagues and friends. To say the least, I was very pleased that this confidence wasn't a one-time event
to resolve an issue but was now appearing through their daily life. And, what had started out as a client in need turned out to be a life long friend.
This friendship continues to this day even though we live thousands of miles away but it takes only a few seconds minutes of conversation to reunite this friendship. As the old saying goes, what goes around comes around.