People, even leaders, and executives, often shy away from asking for help for fear of showing weakness. Leaders, in particular, feel like they are expected to know anything and asking for help or suggestions often seems like it’s not a possibility as it could mean that they are holding a position that they don’t know how to fill.
But in reality, the opposite is true.
As humans, we can’t expect anyone to know everything. The most successful leaders today are those who have been able to surround themselves with people that they can reach out to and ask for help in areas outside of one’s own expertise.
Reaching out to others to ask for help is not a weakness — and in a society where most people are reluctant to ask for help, asking for it is a sign of strength and confidence. However, fear of asking for help isn’t just fear of not being capable, it’s also fear of being a burden, fear of imposing, and fear of being too needy.
But the weakness in asking for help is in not asking for it.
Asking for help shows signs of strength, confidence, and resourcefulness. In a world where people expect problems to be solved fast, surrounding yourself with people who can help you in different situations is highly valuable. Asking for help is also a sign of humanness and it can make you more approachable in the future; if you’re a leader in your company and community and you step forward and ask for help, people around you will feel more comfortable in reaching out to you in their times of need.
However, asking for help can’t just be about you. When asking for help it doesn’t mean you’ll be relying on all of the responsibility to someone else, you also have to contribute, and you also have to make yourself available to when others need help from you.
Asking for help and helping others has a lot of benefits. You come across as confident and authentic, and it can also lead to a plethora of future collaboration opportunities.
Whether you need help with a specific project or just an ear to share your thoughts or ideas, don’t be afraid to take that step and reach out to others; more often than not, people will be happy to help you and you will help them feel validated (people are always proud when someone thinks of them for help on specific subject matters). So, rather than imposing and burdening others, by asking for help you can also provide them with an opportunity to shine and share their gift.
If you need help with a project or idea and don’t know where to ask, reach out to the Shift community. We’re always happy to lend a hand, ear, thought, or idea.