Top 5 Ways to Increase Helping

We receive help every day. I don’t grow the food I eat, knit the clothes I wear, or assemble the TV I try to avoid. I don’t even cut my own hair. Nope, I rely on others to help me. But how do I get help when it involves asking?

Amidst a recent report showing low levels of helpfulness among college professors (especially toward members of minority groups and women), I thought it would be good to help readers know how to increase helping.

Here are the top 5 ways to do it (adapted from Latané and Darley, 1970).

  1. Notice help is needed. This goes both ways. I need to be aware that other people might need my help. I also need to make sure other people know I need help by asking.
  2. Realize when help is needed. If it’s an emergency, let people know it.
  3. Take personal responsibility for helping. Ignore what other people do. If you see someone in need, don’t wait for someone else to do the job. To quote Mahatma Ghandhi, “We need not wait to see what others do.”
  4. Make a decision to help. Think of this as the step between you wanting to help and you actually helping.

Help! Now that you’ve made your decision, it’s time to put some feet on it. Take action and help.