Most of us like to help others when we can. We want to teach, mentor and coach people so they may succeed. Why, then, is it so hard for us to ask for help when we need it?
There are many reasons why we don’t ask for help. The main reasons include:
We don’t want to be a burden. We don’t want to give people additional work or problems.
We fear rejection. We worry the other person will say, “No, sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t have enough time.”
We don’t like being dependent on others. We want to work things out on our own. If we ask for someone for help once, we worry we may have to go back to them again and lose our independence.
We don’t want to feel like we owe anyone anything. If we ask someone for help, we think we’ll have to return the favour.
We like being in control. Asking for help might reveal we don’t have as much control over a situation as we think we do.
Asking for help can be exhausting! Receiving advice, particularly on significant issues, can sap our energy.
So, the question then becomes, why ask for help?
Help is an asset
Help allows us to improve, grow, change, learn and understand things we didn’t even know existed.
For example, there was a highly capable CEO who didn’t feel he was as good as he could be. Eventually, he found the right advisor to ask for help so he could become a better CEO. He did an assessment of his skills, technical and emotional intelligence, and identified the areas he could improve to become a better leader.
The result is he’s now a better CEO, leading his business from good to great. Not only is he in a better space professionally, but his family has also noticed a significant difference, with him being a better dad, husband and person.
What an excellent result of asking for help!
What do you need help with?
Sometimes, we need help for issues we don’t even know we have.
I recently gave a client some advice on their market positioning. However, they didn’t believe they needed this advice. They were so busy being busy, they didn’t want to take on any additional work. After a while, they realised the advice I’d given them was right, and then they asked me for help with market positioning. They had plenty of questions, such as: What was their market? What was their micro-niche? Who were their clients? What should they focus on?
After having these questions answered, the client was able to own their micro-niche and market, increasing their systems and processes, productivity, performance, and the culture and capability of their staff.
A personal example is when my daughter received roller skates. She put on the skates for the first time and immediately fell over. But when she asked for help, over time and through practise, she achieved great results. She now skates like a pro!
When we ask for help, sometimes we don’t know the right questions to ask. That’s why an advisor is essential. They will help you get clear on why you’re asking for help, what for, the questions you should ask, and the best solution for you and your business.
Asking for help is like baking a cake – you know you need butter, eggs, milk and flour, but you don’t know the quantities. Getting help from someone who’s baked that cake before is the way to go, because then you’ll know the right quantities, and the outcome will be so much better than if you keep experimenting.
If you need help with asking the right questions, email me at [email protected].