Why it isn’t Stupid to Ask for Help

Most professionals have a hard time asking for help. They think asking for help reflects one or more of the following statements about themselves, their intellect, or their ability to carry out the job:

“If I ask for help, I’m afraid I will look dumb.” 
“If I ask for assistance, I am not doing a good job.”
“By admitting I need help is saying that someone else knows something I do not.”
“It is a sign of weakness or failure.”

But here is the stark truth: There is no way you can know every aspect of your job, all of the time. The world is constantly changing and so must you. Here is an example:

Today, almost every business and educational institution is communicating through social media channels. It is no longer a “nice to have” to conduct business, it is a “must have”. But you don’t know anything about it, because your expertise is print marketing and direct mail pieces. Yet, your clients and prospects are looking at your social media profile for clarity on who your organization is. What do you need to do?

Ask for help. Either inside or outside of the organization. It doesn’t have anything to do with how smart, effective or strong you are. The truth of the matter is you don’t know anything about social media and you need to be brought up to speed quickly and efficiently.

With a team building facilitator, you can obtain an outside prospective that will help determine if you have the resources inside the organization to help with whatever challenges face you. You will learn the expertise of each individual and who to go to for help. In addition, your organization will learn to tear down those corporate culture walls that asking for help is sign of weakness or failure.

In fact, asking for help is a good thing. It shows that you have the judgement to know what you do and do not know. Asking for help save time, energy and resources!

But how you ask, is also an important part of the process. Here are some Dos and Don’t’s to get you started:

DON’T say “How should I do _______________?”  This statement is too vague and may be confusing for the person you are asking.

DO tell them what you know and where you are stuck. If you are learning a new software package at work, tell the person your specific problem and what you have tackled so far.

DON’T always ask the same person for assistance. 

DO identify the expertise level of each individual in the organization and go the the best person to help you with your problem. 

DON’T be judgemental about another person’s capabilities if they continue to ask for help. 

DO be supportive and try to understand how you may explain it better. Sometimes the learning curve is steeper, especially for a new person. 

DON’T go it alone.

DO consider hiring an experience outside facilitator. Larry Lipman from Fun Team Building can provide your group with great exercises so each participant will understand the value of asking for assistance! Give Larry a call at (770) 333-3303 or fill out his Team Building Contact Us form to get started!

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