Step 1: Ask, “What Do You Need?”

One of the things Getrude Matshe teaches is that it is imperative that you develop the ability to understand something from the perspective of those you’re trying to help.

For example, one organization thought it would be helpful to drill wells for some African villages, but after they were installed, people didn’t use them. Getrude went to talk to the villagers to see what was going on. She found out that when women walked to the wells that were farther away, they used the time to interact and share stories with other women. Drawing water from a well in the village eliminated this meaningful time with others, so they chose to continue walking long distances to the old wells instead. It was more important to the women to maintain their relationships with each other than to save time by getting water close to home.

Rather that assuming that what you’re doing is helpful, ask people what they need. This simple approach can make a huge difference. Here’s another story featuring a failure to do that: a program that originated to help with AIDS prevention distributed leaflets and condoms in Africa via airdrops from small planes. Most of the targeted audience couldn’t read, so the leaflets were useless, except as toilet paper. As for the condoms, kids collected them to use as balloons.

These are cautionary, sad tales, but they are not unusual examples of what can happen. When you’re starting a movement, you must engage people. The most successful programs are those that ask, “What do you need?” and then create partnerships with those they are helping.

In order to facilitate such conversations and partnerships, Getrude has discovered the importance of identifying someone who can serve as a translator between cultures, translating one culture’s experience so the other can understand it. She notes that one of the most significant gifts someone can offer is to serve in this role.

Initiating a movement can be inspiring, life changing and even world changing, but to truly succeed, be sure to include the first step.

P.S. Do you want to share this post? Please do. Just be sure that it remains intact and includes the following bio.

About Terry: Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. Originator of the Belief Breakthrough Method™, Terry specializes in teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to rapidly resolve limiting beliefs about wealth and success. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want… NOW. http://terryhickey.com/

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