In a society where helping yourself has become the norm, it seems like fewer and fewer people still have the courage to ask someone else for help. Some people are embarrassed to ask for assistance. They are reluctant to let others know they are unable to do something.
People are afraid to ask for help for many reasons but most commonly, especially in the competitive business world, we fear someone will use our weakness to our disadvantage.
“There is an understandable fear that if you let your guard down, you’ll get hurt, or that this information you don’t know how to do will be used against you,” said Garret Keizer, the author of Help: The Original Human Dilemma.
You may fear revealing your weak points will change your co-workers’ opinion about you, or that you will lose control over the situation. After all, no one wants to appear incompetent or needy. In reality, though, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. Most people find satisfaction in helping others, and enjoy helping — if only they are asked.
“When we support other people to be more successful, we discover opportunities for collaboration that ultimately enable us to be more successful ourselves,” saidJanine Garner, author of From Me to We.
Adopt the attitude that you’re giving someone the opportunity to shine while, at the same time, achieving your own goal. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you decide to ask for help.
1. Be honest.
The best way to ask for help is to simply tell the other person what you need. Be honest and confident, and use a straightforward approach.
2. Choose the best method.
Determine whether it is better to ask for assistance in person or through email or phone. Verbal communication is often best if your request is of a sensitive nature.
3. Watch the body language
When you ask for help in person, observe the other person’s body language and gestures. These can tell you if they comfortable with your request or reluctant to help you. If they are not enthusiastic, move on as it might be best to ask someone else for assistance.
4. Pay for help
It may be easier to hire help than ask someone to help you as a favor. Since it is often difficult to get everything done on your own, hiring someone can give you time to hone the skills at which you excel.
5. Be open to receiving
When in dire need, be open to accepting assistance without feeling as if you have to return the favor or repay the debt.
6. Express gratitude.
If someone helps you out, tell them you are truly grateful. Write a thank-you note, make a phone call or do something special in return.
The next time you feel like you need to ask for help, just do it. Remember, it doesn’t reflect upon you as a person, or mean that you are incompetent or unprofessional. It means that you are a strong, self-confident person who is not afraid to admit that sometimes you too need the assistance and support of other people to achieve your business or personal goals.