My husband and I spent a week inside of Grand Canyon National Park. I recall a ranger saying most visitors average an 18-minute peek over the rim and then they are off to the next site to see. While a week visit is unusual for a National Park, it is not uncommon for us. We did the same at Yellowstone, Bryce, and Volcanoes National Parks. Because of our extended stays we sometimes we make friends with the park’s rangers.
One night a ranger told us a story she might not have told her colleagues. There’s nothing like hiking out west to pull every last drop of water out of your body and people consistently underestimate how much drinking water is needed to get from floor to rim. Even this seasoned ranger wrongly guessed what she would need on sunny, hot day. Close to heat stroke she crawled under a bush to wait out the day and climbed the rest of the way to the rim that night. She could have called for help, but she didn’t. This story is not all that uncommon I have found.
A few years later we were skiing with a bunch of my husband’s ski patrol buddies. One of them caught an edge and went flying off the side of the trail into the trees. We couldn’t see him. For what seemed like a few minutes there was no sound or movement. The guys started talking about going in, and then he emerged. He banged his head. Hard. He didn’t seem quite right, but he hopped on his skis and skied down. Later he told us he was dizzy for three weeks. He probably should have gotten help, but rescuers do not want to be rescued.
As the expert, it is hard to ask for help.
Members long in their career will rarely come to your association asking for help. They probably feel they can’t afford to have their boss, or subordinates, or peers know they need help. It might seem like this set of members has all the answers and they continue their membership because it is time to give back.
But they do have problems, and these problems are far more complex, diverse, and thorny than the problems newer members have. They do need help, and they will find great value in whoever helps them. They won’t tell you about their problems, so you’ve got to ask.