Many of our clients find it incredibly hard to ask for help from others. Some believe it’s a sign of weakness, others worry they will get in trouble, and still others have gotten rewarded for their independence so know of no other way.

Yet in this current climate where life is fast, complex, and ever-changing, the ability to ask for help from others becomes increasingly important to your success and the success of your teams and organizations.

So, what are the keys to asking for help that honor your expertise while asking for the expertise of another, that respect the time crunch the people you are asking are facing, and that build relationships that foster collaboration on behalf of mutual success?

  • Start by letting the person know that you are talking with them to ask for help.
  • Be clear and explicit about what you are asking at the start of the conversation.
  • Provide context so that the person you are asking for help quickly understands the context you are working in and how they can make the greatest impact.
  • Let them know how their contributions will help you and others.
  • Be clear how you will follow up, if appropriate, so that they know how their input, support, expertise, etc. has been used.

Asking for help is a complex activity for many people, loaded with baggage from family history and early school experiences. If you struggle with asking for help, don’t let it stop you. This week, consider asking for help where you need it. You will always be more powerful if you can identify what you need from others, approach them with respect, and get the help you need to move forward.

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