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How to ask for help

Most of us dread asking for help in the best of times.

And now that we are working through a pandemic, it feels like an extra imposition to ask anyone for anything.

But the reality is that many of us need support like never before — such as a referral to a hiring manager, or to reschedule a meeting, or to extend a deadline.

Instead of shying away from help, we need to go to it. We need to accept it. We need to offer it.

There are many reasons we don’t ask for help (or accept it) and most of them are imagined. Here are the biggies:

It makes me look bad. No, on the contrary, people are less likely to judge us negatively when we reveal our imperfections.

I’ll be turned down. Not true. People are more likely to say “yes” and they tend to go above and beyond expectations.

They don’t like helping me. We all enjoy the “warm glow” of helping someone. It makes us feel better.

When you do ask for help, here’s how to make it easier:

  • Be clear about the help you need.
  • Explain the desired results.
  • Give the helper options.

People want to help. So ask them, let them – and thank them.

Have a great week.

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