Four Words that Make People Stronger

2 min. read

Ever felt you’ve got a million things going on and need help? 

What about when you don’t have the right information or expertise to answer an important question? 

Or find yourself in need of just plain old education and guidance – someone to just lay it all out for you?

What if I told you in these situations where you feel powerless you have the opportunity to make others feel strong.  

It’s called “empowerment.”

And, it takes just four words.

See, that wasn’t too hard to say.

Whether it’s a team member, colleague, boss, the CEO, or Dr. Fauci, when you say, “I need your help,” you are asking for someone to use their capability to help you with something meaningful to you.  

How’s this sound/feel to them?


You’re the student, they’re the teacher. You’re the orchestra conductor, giving them the baton while you play second fiddle.

I think you get the point…

  • It acknowledges how much you value that person’s competence.
  • It shows your vulnerability
  • It is an opportunity for you to engage in a dialogue – to listen, probe, reflect – and appreciate 
  • It opens the door for a more meaningful relationship
  • It is reciprocal, meaning they can ask you for help at some point 
  • It shows you value that person’s insight and perspective
  • It models the behavior that asking for help is a strength
  • Asking for something trivial – like “I need your help in getting a cup of coffee.” Condescending.
  • When it’s framed as “do me a favor.” Patronizing. 
  • When you go to the same person for help all the time. That really pisses her off.

• • •

Any way you cut it, asking for help is a strength.

 When it’s from the heart, doors open and people feel good about themselves. 

They feel valued.

When it comes off as patronizing or bullshit, people feel used.

Empower other people to help you. People want affirmation … validation.

See what happens – to them, and to you.