Asking for help
Why is that many of us find it hard to ask for help? All it involves logically is expressing a few words – a request, and yet so often we stop ourselves. Often people worry about appearing weak or lacking in competence or about not being good enough, or perhaps find it hard to be assertive.
Help is very useful – it’s free, it builds on what you already know and understand and helps you to move forward. Help unblocks us and supports us in feeling clear, confident and taking action. Unless extremely busy, most people are happy to offer help or suggest someone or something that could be useful.
Common barriers to people offering help are: time, concern about the expectation or commitment needed and selfishness or concern about giving away their competitive advantage e.g. intellectual property, so think about any objections you may face and how to overcome them.
We can’t possibly know everything about everything and with the pace of change accelerating and often people’s roles expanding at work with redundancies, and more people needing a lucky break to change career, help is essential to keep us sane! Everyone has different talents and if we helped each other more and played to our strengths, we’d enjoy ourselves more, relationships would improve and more would get done faster.
Failure to ask for help can create stress, overwhelm, procrastination and in-action, something we haven’t got time for! Giving help can increase confidence, help someone to express themselves so they get clear on their thoughts and build their ideas and create the glow of feeling good.
5 tips to make asking for help feel more comfortable
1) Remember most people like to help – it makes them feel good
2) Help others and then it feels more comfortable to ask for help yourself
3) Ensure the person who is to help you chooses a convenient time for them e.g. not when they are busy or stressed, so you get quality time
4) Spend time thinking through your specific request and crafting the wording so that it feels comfortable and you minimise any inner resistance
5)`Think about what’s in it for them (W.I.F.T.) and how you can help them now or in the future – it’s a two way street
What are you afraid might happen if you ask for help?
“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments or publicity.” Thomas Wolfe
Rachel Brushfield is the Talent Liberator from Energise – The Talent Liberation Company. She is a career, talent and L&D strategist and coach and published author. Helping clients create, market and manage a portfolio career is a specialism.