8 Words That Spur Action

My stepfather once told me that the 8 most powerful words in the English language are

“I have a problem. I need your help.”

Starting a conversation with these 8 words spurs the person who hears them to take action because of the meaning inherent in the 2 sentences:

  1. I have a problem. Something is not right. I am not blaming you for the problem nor trying to cause you to become defensive. The fact is, from my perspective, things are not going the way I had hoped or expected them to go.
  2. I need your help. You are a capable person who is in a position of power. I am coming to you because I know that you will have ideas to help me solve my problem.

The best way to engender trusted relationships is to humbly acknowledge what is going on and to ask for the assistance you need to make things better. Regardless of why or how the problem came about, the 8 words demonstrate that I am confident you, my fellow human being, have ideas or resources that will improve my situation.

After I have shared my perspective, we can work together to figure out the best way to point me in the right direction so we can all start feeling better very soon.

About Michelle Smeby

Michelle Smeby is CEO of wHolistic Change, Inc. with more than 10 years of experience implementing enterprise solutions at Fortune 100 companies. Michelle specializes in helping corporations deliver transformational change.
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