Ways to distinguish yourself – #11 Help people help themselves

It is interesting how many of us hoard information and knowledge.
Knowledge used to provide competitive advantage a while ago, not

I have seen this time and again in the IT services industry where if
you ask for help, rather than providing the source and explaining how
to solve the problem, the tendency for a fellow developer is to
actually go and solve the problem. That helps but remember the old
adage “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” People are happy when their problem is solved but they will be delighted when they learn how to solve it themselves.

One doubt you may have is that if you share everything (including the
source) why would anyone come to you again?  Would sharing make
you dispensable?

My point is that with all the resources that are available, most often,
people can find the information all by themselves. By helping people
help themselves, you are taking the road less traveled. Next time, when
people ask for help, see if you can provide enough information so that
the person can solve the problem himself or herself. He or she will
thank you for that. You will have the satisfaction of growing someone
rather than just solving a tactical problem.