Forbes online offers a daily quote before entering any of their articles. Their Thought-of-the-Day, “If a man be endowed with a generous mind, this is the best kind of nobility.” — Plato really suited the topic of asking for help at work.
The particular article, The Right Way to Ask for Help at Work, offers excellent insight because somewhere along the way, we’ve become accustomed to the idea that asking for help meant failure. But what if it meant strength? Strength because of learning and growth. Strength because those who learn tend to be those who share what they learn. Strength because humility leads to knowledge. All those things together create a valuable employee who is a team player. These three tips are good guidelines:
- Try first.
- Don’t martyr yourself over what you don’t know.
- Prepare questions/possible solutions and turn your request into collaboration.
What if asking for help was an expectation?
Surprise, it is! Fox Business shares a success secret! In Andrea Murad’s article she writes, “…higher-ups expect junior employees to seek out help.” Expect? Why yes, yes they do. Lone Ranger types are actually less successful, often cause alienation of co-workers, and have ego problems. They don’t know what they don’t know, so to speak. And that leads to overlooking excellent opportunities and solutions. Ms. Murad also points out that the boss isn’t always the right person to ask either. Consider the problem and ask the person who can offer the real solution. As long as you’re not going over your boss’ head, that will impress those above you.
Take the time to analyze both whether you need help and what kind
The NY Times offers an excellent idea to make sure you’re taking the right step in regards to workload and asking for assistance. Think through these questions before acting and you will be less likely to look, or feel like you look, inept on the job.
- Are you actually doing the work of more than one person?
- Who gets the reports, memos, project updates from your position, and do they actually use the information?
- Can you delegate any of the work?
Are you still unsure? Contact the consultants at the Lee Group for an objective opinion. Expect some great answers in a safe environment while you sort through your options. We’ll help you.