Why asking for help is a strength & How to ask effectively

Fri, Dec 13, 2013


One of the fears of mentorship is asking for help. Many people hold a notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness or “inconvenient” for others. But that’s not necessarily true! In fact asking for help has a huge number of benefits and in this post we’re going to debunk the myths that asking for help is a sign of weakness or “inconvenient” for others. This has been inspired by an article we found on the Yahoo Small Business Advisor engine.

1. People LIKE to help. If asked the right way, most people enjoy helping because it makes them feel good about themselves. They get to experience rewarding emotions and the wonderful chemicals that come with them. It’s also a huge compliment to the person as they see that you trust them and see them as a person of value.

2. No one is perfect and no one knows everything. This is something we tend to forget and as a result, we don’t ask for help when we need it. Our unwillingness to ask for help reduces our productivity as we spend our time and energy being anxious, worried or investing extra time trying to figure it out ourselves.

3. You become more efficient and effective. As mentioned above, you save time and energy when you ask for help. Rather than being anxious and worried which impairs your judgment and productivity, you can focus on the more important things.

So, what’s the most effective way to ask for help that leaves both parties inspired? Jodi Glickman, contributor to the Harvard Business Review shares in this article.

She suggests the following these three steps:

1. Set the Stage: “I have a favour to ask you”

By starting with this phrase, it acknowledges a level of give and take versus making a person feel they’re being taken advantage of. Plus it gives a person a moment to switch gears so that they can receive the information to respond.

2. Give a Reason

According to Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, you have good luck in receiving help when you give people a reason for asking.

3. Provide an Escape Clause

People like helping as giving is quite fulfilling. However, it’s good for giving people the opportunity to graciously decline since no one likes feeling pushed into doing a favour.

An example escape clause would be: If you can’t help out, I completely understand, but I thought I’d ask.

Do you embrace asking for help? Why or why not? What successes and failures have you experienced when asking for help? Comment below. We love hearing from you!



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