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The Top 10 Guidelines for Lending Anything You Care About
to Anyone

Have you ever been caught off guard by a borrowing request and subsequently
regretted your agreement? I hope we all have a strong desire to offer help
whenever we can but borrowing is a privilege not a right. Ensure that you
don't regret the decisions you make in this respect by being clear in
advance about all the factors which are relevant for you and the item

1. Are there items in your life which for any reason you just do not want
to lend to anyone? Know which they are.

2. Does the requester have a borrowing history and if so, what does that
lead you to expect?

3. How well does the requester look after their own belongings?

4. Share exactly how you feel about the item and how you would respond if it
were lost or damaged. This is particularly important for anything with low material worth but incredibly high sentimental or other value.

5. Ensure the requester has whatever is necessary to transport the item safely.
and protect it appropriately. If you agree to lend …

6. Keep a record of items borrowed from you and by whom. Ever had a phantom memory? Ensure you are not in the position of having to ask all your friends if it is they who borrowed your left-handed whatsit.

7. Agree and record the date by which it will be returned. And it will be returned by the borrower, won't it?

8. Point out any components which are small or fragile, easily lost or
broken, and whether they can be replaced.

9. Share with the borrower any idiosyncracies of the item regarding its use,
care or maintenance.

10. When the item is returned, check it out together so you are both
confident it is in exactly the same condition as before and nothing is
missing. Then ensure your record list is updated, immediately!

About the submitter:
This piece was written by Martin Sawdon who can be reached at or visited on the web at

Martin has a special interest in people in the workplace and the creation of Sustainable Workplaces, corporations which are extraordinarily profitable, extraordinarily effective if public sector but get there by growing people rather than consuming them like a fossil fuel. He coaches clients with integrity and great senses of humor, who are determined to realize achievements beyond their wildest dreams.

Coaching-Works! has been featured on radio and television.

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