How to support wisely - 3 stages of supporting

Supporting and lending a helping hand is something that has recently characterized Poles even more. However, we must remember that by supporting unwise, we can also do harm. Supporting the Ukrainians is a temporary, necessary help and a challenge, but it is not the same as helping. How to support so that the support brings the expected results? Below you will find 3 steps to effective support.

3 levels of smart support

Even in a situation where supporting is for the good of the person in need, we must remember that it is important to do it wisely. Psychologically, wise support can be divided into three stages. It depends on the situation of the person needing support:

  1. Giving a fish
  2. Giving a fishing rod
  3. Teaching the mind of a fisherman

1. Giving a fish

Regarding the first stage of support, opinions are divided. Some people find it harmful to give someone a fish, because the first thing to do is to give a fishing rod so that the person can catch the fish for himself. Although this solution seems to be the most appropriate, sometimes a person is in a situation where he or she does not have the strength and ability to catch it on his own.

Giving a fish in this context means coming to the rescue. It works especially well in crisis situations. During a natural disaster, in relationships with children or in contact with people struggling with difficulties. In the event of a conflict in Ukraine and supporting the Ukrainians, giving fish may be harmful in the long run. This stage is to allow our needy to stand on his feet. Supporting it is not an effort, and in the future it may result in laziness, passivity and taking away someone's agency.

2. Giving a fishing rod

At the moment when the person in need has used the fish or did not need it, it is worth giving him a fishing rod. By this term we mean creating a field for someone to catch fish on their own. In the case of helping Ukrainians, we can understand it as a supportive conversation, looking for solutions, help in completing documents or finding a job or apartment.

Wise giving a fishing rod fulfills its function when the person in need has already used all his abilities and you support when the person is no longer able to act independently.

  1. Teaching the mind of a fisherman

The highest level of support is teaching the fisherman's mentality. By this slogan, we understand the learning of a way of thinking that will allow you to independently create a rod and construct more effective methods of fishing. When the science takes its toll, your support is over, because the person is already fully capable of coping on their own. While supporting the citizens of Ukraine, it may turn out to be effective to talk and find solutions together. 

How to teach a fisherman's mentality?

  • Show and explain the 3 levels of helping out.
  • Avoid simple advice and solutions.
  • Ask questions that will lead to an independent answer.
  • Teach yourself to ask yourself questions and find answers: how does something work? Why is it like that? what for?
  • Teach responsibility, taking challenges, creativity and activity.
  • Teach wise asking for help, i.e. only in such matters that you cannot deal with yourself, because we are not able to do everything ourselves.
Joanna Karp