We’re not all experts in everything. No one is. If someone says they are, they’re either not being honest with themselves or are just plain arrogant. That’s why we’re human. We’re not supposed to know everything. If we did we’d probably be incredibly sad because the journey of discovery – that beautiful part of life – would no longer exist.
When it comes to the workplace, we’re faced with new situations and experiences all the time. The rate of change in today’s world is staggering. Technology is moving so fast and it’s helping to establish both new and grow existing social behaviours that find their way into the way we work.
With all of that change, there are going to be new things that we don’t quite understand, things we want to know more about and things that we may not pick up at first because the sheer amount of intel being fed to us means we can’t process everything at the same rapid rate. We’re not necessarily going to be able to do it on our own and that means asking for help.
Why asking for help is a good thing
Today we are so easily scared by asking for help. Why? Because there’s this natural tendency for it to make us feel scared or embarrassed; because we feel like we should know the answers to things so we can do it ourselves, because if someone else can do something that you can’t it means you’re weak.
If that were the case, then why is collaboration such a hot topic? Why are tools like Slack (a communication and collaboration tool for teams) seeing such immense growth, why do we look to crowdsourcing for funding new ideas? Asking for help is actually a HUGE opportunity for so many reasons:
- You learn new things
- You can get connected to new people
- You can strike a new business deal
- You learn humility
- You can refine your thinking
- You show you’re human
These are just some of the opportunities that exist when it comes to asking for help. How do I know? I’ve seen it myself. Throughout my career – from consulting to the corporate world and now having moved full-time to a startup, I’ve been lucky enough to pretty much experience every one of those, which only came around by asking for help in some way shape or form.
The main thing that stops you asking for help is fear. But whichever way you look at it, it’s irrational. Why be afraid of something you don’t know or how someone might react? You only know what you know, so why not absorb more knowledge, make a new contact or better still, get in touch with your humanity?
Why asking for help makes you a better leader
Being able to ask for help at work is so important because the companies that have an open culture of encouraging questions are the ones that can ultimately learn and innovate faster, that can help their people strive for better when it comes to their personal development, and that aren’t just about focusing on the good but also about embracing the bad or the ugly.
If you’re a leader, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Why? Because while you’re in that position for a reason, you’re still human and that means you won’t always have all of the answers. Because your team have skills and knowledge that as a collective can come together to create solutions for things you never thought possible.
A leader who involves their team, who listens to what they have to say and who asks for help when it’s needed is a leader that earns far greater trust and respect from those they work with. The greatest leaders I have been fortunate enough to work with have always had this humility and authenticity about them. They’ll always be standouts for me because they were never afraid to ask for help and that’s something that earned them a status that no title, award or badge could ever do justice to.
So next time you want to ask for help, don’t let that niggling little voice in your head talk you down. Why not try it? See where it leads.
Image credit: Unsplash.com