“Closing a deal doesn’t mean your work end there” – Craig Wortmann.
I was happy to pass down a closed deal to my team from an existing client, thinking it shouldn’t be a problem whatsoever. How wrong I was since my client needs the project to be done in exactly 8 day when it should be a 10-working-day job, excluding revisions, because they have a marketing plan with the micro-site. I freaked out. My project manager freaked out. Both of us weren’t sure if we can pull it off, as we also don’t want our designers have to work OT without loading fee, and blaming clients isn’t professional reaction.
In such times, you’re gonna need all the support and help you could find. It boils down to the fact that, if you cannot work with your team, if you don’t know how to effectively communicate to them and seek for help in a way that people will help because they want to, not because they are forced to do, then you are screwed.
Some, I feel, need to work on their “asking for help” way, when they ask for help in a manner of ” you better help me, or else…” or “I’m entitled to it, I’m just asking out of courtesy, and you still gotta do it anyway.” No, that’s not how it goes, and you won’t be able to get help for a second time with that kind of attitude.
For me, nobody owes me anything to “have” to do for me, although I know that someone has to do their job, it doesn’t hurt to convey to your team-mates that them doing their jobs matters a lot to you and benefits everyone of the team.
So I have been using these three magic phrases to ask for help from my team-mates.
No matter what I do, no matter where I go, I remain believe that gratitude is the best attitude. I’m not saying you have to say “thank you” to horrible people that hurt you, or terrible events that negatively affect you. Yet, I’m sure strong-willed and successful people really do express gratitude towards such things, because thanks to them, they find their inner strength, expand their capabilities and explore their own unique gifts to overcome the hardship.
When we express a sense of gratitude towards people, incidences, encounters that come our way, it makes us grow, mentally and spiritually. It gives us a different light to things, we look at what happens under a light of “challenges to be overcome and solved”, not “disasters come to ruin and destroy”. It forces us try harder to see clearly and find the “silver linings” on every cloud.
When I was beaten down with pressure and self-doubt, I remind myself have good colleagues and friends standing by me and encouraging me throughout the way – which tremendously help me to wake up and try again, instead of dwelling on to the negativity.
Those good colleagues’ understanding is the silver lining I was lucky to find, amid the harsh demand of work. And those colleagues – team-mates, are willing to work with me, to help me get out of unexpected situations that one person – me can never figure it out.
So if next time you are hit with problems, with issues, look real hard around you and find the silver linings, doesn’t how small it is, keep looking for it and believe in it. You will find them, and suddenly, problems are just a facet of life that can be dealt with and you can live through it.
It’s never easy admit you’re wrong, you have done something wrong, you are responsible for shits happen and now you have to deal with it. It takes so much effort to confess your wrongdoings, and even more than that to take action and solve it. Your first instinct is definitely running around from responsibilities and look for some one else, supposedly in better position and possess better skill to solve it for you.
But hey, life doesn’t work that you. You cannot run forever, and you won’t have the luxury of having somebody cleaning the shit you’ve made forever. The only right thing to do, is acknowledge the wrong, express your regret of making it happen in the first place and do something about it.
People will forgive you if you are sincere, because nobody is perfect and anybody can make mistake anytime in a day. What makes you different from others, is your willingness to own up and try your best to fix your mistakes.
When I found out that the client’s request is very urgent and I miscalculated their plan, there was no other way than saying sorry to my team, and asking them for their utmost help. Because we have signed the deal with the client, we couldn’t back down from it. So I have to depend on my PM to change the designers’ work schedule, to come up with the designs on time for client to revise and save up some time to program the approved designs. The designers also have to work extra hard to keep up with the tight timeline.
At least, we have delivered the designs earlier than expected and we still have time as planning. I felt relief because my team is truly my silver lining, at the same time, I felt guilty of putting them in the tough spot (must admit, in this line of work, many many times I have to ask for their extra-generous support for last minute job, or continues revisions from client, of which if not because they think I’m tolerable to work with, they could just leave me to deal with it myself).
And last but not least, don’t forget to put a bit of sincerity into your asking-for-help. Remember, nobody “has” to do anything for you. Doesn’t matter it’s work, life, relationships, even your parents… we have to understand and accept the fact that people can actually refuse to help you, to support you, to share your burden, to sympathize with you, and there is nothing you can do about it! You can resent the fact that people give you no support and you are left to work on your own, but at the end of the day, people are mostly like that, we can hardly blame them because everyone has their own issues.
When have no other options, I’d still ask for help with my most polite manner (with fingers crossed sometimes) and prepare myself for the worst case scenario when I have to work things out without getting any help. However, “please” is powerful enough as a way to seek for assistance and understanding.
On the road to somewhere over the rainbow, many things are in front of me to encounter and to learn from. It’s a long, winding road getting to be someone someday, but step by step and never lose sight of what you need, yet never forget to stop and enjoy the scenery, the destination may not be as important and rewarding as the journey.