Carol Bowser: Ask 'What are you looking for help with?'

Why you should replace ‘What can I do for you?’ with ‘What are you looking for help with?’

Employee Relations
Written by Carol Bowser

So, have you ever been in a situation where someone comes to you and said, “What can I do for you?” And then they disappoint you.

Or maybe you have to give answers that they don’t like if they’re coming to you. Here’s a suggestion, eliminate the “What can I do for you”. And why do we want to do that? Well, it’s because if you say that, you are implying that you have the power, the authority, and the desire to give the person what they’re asking for, and oftentimes we don’t. Or maybe we need to include others, or maybe what they’re asking for is just outrageous and not based in reality.

So, let’s not set yourself up or the other person up for unmet expectations by having to say “no”. So, instead maybe say, “What are you looking for help with?” Subtle difference but not implying that you have the power to solve their problems.