If the thought of asking for help at work makes you weak in the knees, you aren’t alone. According to personal development company Insights Learning & Development, most people struggle when it comes to asking for help. Here’s why:
We don’t like feeling vulnerable
When you ask for help, you are basically admitting to yourself and others that you can’t do it all on your own. You may see that as a weakness, or you may be worried that others will see it that way. It’s likely that you are doing everything you can in your new leadership role to prevent that perception. Still, if you don’t ask for help and you make mistakes or you are overwhelmed by your work duties and fall behind, others will notice, and they’ll doubt your ability to lead.
It’s better to ask for help and do your job well than to struggle and fail.
We tend to be control freaks
Thoughts of “It’s easier to do it myself,” “I can do it better than they can” or “They’ll just mess it up” keep people from seeking the help of others. As a leader, your insistence on doing everything yourself will make you a less effective, productive leader. You MUST delegate work, so change your mindset. See delegation as a way to grow the skills of your employees and free your time to focus on the big picture.
We have had bad experiences
I remember being in 7th grade math walking up to ask my teacher for help with a problem. His response “Oh, look class, Jaimy has another question.” I never asked for his help again. He was a terrible teacher, mentor and leader on that day, and he ruined math for me. If you have experienced something similar, you may be hesitant to try it again, and I understand that. However, I wish all these years later that instead of letting him kill my confidence, I would have continued to ask questions, despite his behavior.
If you are uneasy asking for help, what should you do? The folks at Insights Learning & Development recommend to just do it. Be confident, but sincere, and explain exactly what you need help with. Furthermore, explain why you are reaching out to that person for help, for example, because of his or her expertise on a topic. And don’t forget to show your gratitude to everyone who does take the time to help you.
Finally, pay it forward. Make sure that you are offering help when people need it most. Don’t be my 7th grade math teacher. Instead of humiliating an employee or coworker who is struggling, lend a helping hand. Be a strong mentor, coach and support system.
New leaders especially need guidance and assistance – and right from the start, when their decisions will guide and direct their future success. Check out the Bud to Boss workshop now, and get the leadership help you need to succeed!
Insights Learning & Development, a personal development company, encourages their team members to make asking for help an everyday part of the way they work because it creates space for this dialogue to open up innovation and brings everyone one step closer to a collaborative corporate culture.
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