Sometimes, you gotta ASK!!

How to ask for help in the timebankFor many of us, asking for help is hard. I see this difficulty manifest often when timebank members tell me they can’t find the help they need in the timebank.

Here’s a recent example:

Me: What do you need?
Member: I need four post holes dug.
Me: Have you asked for help with that?
Member: I looked at the current offers, and didn’t see it offered.

I’m happy to report that this conversation has a happy ending: hole-digging is scheduled! It’s also a perfect opportunity to talk about how to make the ask. It’s impossible to know what kind of help people need, and it would never occur to me to post a separate offer for each and every little thing that I was willing to do for another timebank member. Who’s got time for that?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the weekly member email that lists recent requests and said “Wow, I never thought about offering that particular service, but I could totally do that!”

If you dismiss the thought of getting the help you need through the timebank by a cursory glance at what’s currently being offered, you’re missing an opportunity. Here are some suggestions to try:

    Use the search box at the top of every page in hOurworld. Try a few different words or versions of your search. Go ahead and noodle around in there. You won’t break anything! You may find a member bio or offer that turns up in your search, and we encourage you reach out directly to that member with your request by emailing them: use the email they have listed in their profile or use the envelope icon in their profile to send an email.
  • Post a request!
    It may be hard to ask for help, but members are standing by – and they’re reading their emails … not your mind! Plus, members who see your request can help you make a connection if they’re not able to fulfill the request themselves. Go ahead and put contact information right there in the request, which makes it easy for them to respond!
  • Post it in the Facebook member forum 
    It’s a great place to pose a question or make a request, and it allows a conversation thread to unfold, members to be tagged, and activates the hive mind. Remember that not all of our members are on Facebook, but many are.
  • Keep your member profile current
    Make sure your profile information is up-to-date, friendly, and inviting. After all, the first thing a potential responder will do is look you up on the member software. Increase your chances by having a photo and welcoming bio, and make it easy to contact you.
  • Don’t take it personally if a request is unfulfilled. Maybe it isn’t something that others are able to help with, or they’re not available, or maybe they didn’t read their email. OK, that’s a topic for another post. The point is: please don’t be disheartened. Keep at it, and perhaps the next time you’ll make a fabulous connection.

So — what do YOU need that you haven’t requested? 😊