What Goes Around Comes AroundAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2011
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.
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.
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