Asking for Help at Work - Build Cultures of Trust and Engagement

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asking for help at work

We are often inundated with tasks at work, and sometimes these tasks are beyond our capabilities. In these circumstances, asking for help is crucial.

Regrettably, asking for help is often a challenge, both in professional settings and in our daily lives. The reason being, we are conditioned to perceive self-reliance as a virtue. That is, a symbol of our competence and prowess.

In all fairness, it shouldn’t be that way.

Surrounding oneself with a support system can construct a healthy way of life. As human beings and aspiring leaders, we all need that safety net. A support system where aiding others and receiving aid coexist. Perhaps building a culture of trust and engagement relies on collaboration. And this harmony only takes form when we’re supporting each other.

So, the idea here is simple – ask for help and give it back. That’s how growth happens. Boost your confidence, ask for help, and return the favor – to those who helped you and those who need it. It’s a two-way street.

Of course, there’s a professional way to ask for help at work, and we’ll dig into that later.

The Good That Comes from Asking for Help

Have you ever wondered why some people sail through comfortably while others struggle? It’s often because those who thrive have built themselves a support system. In simple words, they asked for help and offered help in return.

Whether you’re asking for help at work or in a personal capacity, the core benefit is simple: getting the help you need. This can lead to greater personal and professional growth, as well as a sense of peace and well-being, not to mention the support system you’ll be building.

Having said that, here are 5 benefits of asking for help at the workplace:

Stronger Communication and Collaboration

When you ask for help, you invite others to co-create solutions. This can help to strengthen the interpersonal relationships that drive collaboration and encourage people to focus on a shared objective.

Personal and Professional Growth

Asking for help can open opportunities to learn and explore different perspectives. It can also create opportunities for us to stretch ourselves and embrace vulnerability, which are both necessary parts of growth.

Improved Productivity

Getting help can unlock blockages, allowing us to move forward more efficiently. When people don’t hesitate to ask for support when they need it, they experience fewer lags and slowdowns.

Improved Engagement

Asking for help at work can cultivate a sense of belonging and togetherness. Knowing that support is available if needed liberates people to engage more deeply with their work. This allows them to shine their unique strengths and talents.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

When we feel like we are struggling to keep up with our workload, it can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Asking for aid can help to reduce this stress and anxiety, so that we can focus on our work and be more productive.

Build Trust and Confidence

Asking for help can build trust and confidence in a person’s abilities. It makes us feel recognized and valued, which can boost our morale and productivity.

Read More: The Power of Decision Confidence: How Trusting Yourself Can Lead to Success

When it comes to asking for help at work, the benefits are numerous. Yet, the points indicated above are satisfactory in bolstering our confidence to adopt this practice.

Facing the Fear – Asking for Help at the Workplace

Many of us dread asking for help at work. We worry about being rejected, judged, seen as a burden, or not being able to help ourselves. These fears can hold us back from learning, growing, and collaborating.

I overcame this fear by reminding myself that when you help others, you’re also helping yourself. In simplest words, offering help is linked to receiving help. When I ask for help, I am not admitting weakness. I am simply acknowledging that I need assistance to succeed – so can you. I am also creating an opportunity for others to share their knowledge and expertise, which benefits everyone involved.

As human beings we need it. There is no way to overlook this characteristic in our lives. Whenever we feel stuck, a little help always makes a big difference.

Here are a few tips to help overcome your fear of asking for help at the workplace and beyond:

Silence Your Inner Critic

Inner critics are the voices in your head that tell you that you can’t do something, or that you’re not good enough. They might sound angry or critical, but they’re just afraid. Once you’re familiar with your inner critic, you can start to challenge them.

Don’t Let Others Define You

This means not letting how others perceive you define you. You can’t control how others think, so don’t worry about it. Focus on your own thoughts and actions.

Live Your Values

Living your life in a way that is aligned with your values is a great way towards mindfulness. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, even if it means being vulnerable.

Write It Down

When you’re clear on what you need, it’s easier to ask for help. Write down what you’re struggling with, and what kind of help you need.

It’s Okay to Not Know Everything

After all, it’s only human. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, or colleagues. Practice asking for help and engage more with co-workers. This way, you’ll be learning a great deal.

Don’t Waste Time on Toxic People

There might be individuals who attempt to hinder your progress. However, it’s more productive to direct your energy toward those who stand by you and have faith in your abilities. Simply, Focus on the people who support you.

Never Give Up

This is the most important message. Keep trying no matter what, even if you don’t succeed the first time. If one person doesn’t help, ask someone else. Don’t let rejection get you down.

A Professional Way to Ask for Help

I’m aware. Some people solicit assistance in a way that’s highly impolite and generates unease. I would recommend not adopting that particular (rude) approach. If you ask for help in a professional way, you are more likely to get the help you need and to build positive relationships with the people who help you.

Asking for help at work professionally is a sign of strength and maturity. It shows that you are confident enough to admit when you need help and that you are willing to learn and grow.

When asking for help, Be:

·        Proactive. If you see a problem coming, reach out for help early.

·        Specific. Don’t just say, “I need help.” Say something like, “I need help with this report. I’m struggling with the formatting.”

·        Respectful. Be respectful of the person’s time and expertise. Don’t expect them to do your work for you.

·        Open to feedback. When someone offers to help you, be open to their feedback. They may have insights that you didn’t have.

·        A thankful person. When someone helps you, be sure to thank them. This shows that you appreciate their time and effort.

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to help others, even before they ask for it. When you help others, you show them that you are a kind and compassionate person. You are also building trust and goodwill, which can lead to them being more willing to help you in the future.

Why Help Others?

Obviously, we have a role to play in our own successes. But let’s think for a moment about what role we can play in other people’s successes. Are we actively contributing to that?

Helping others means you’re positioning yourself up for success. By playing a part in helping others, you create a support system that would help you whenever you need it. The fact of the matter is that not helping won’t help. It’s as simple as that.

Apart from that, helping others boosts your mood, lifts self-esteem, gives a sense of belonging and well-being, and reduces isolation.

Therefore, next time you are thinking about helping someone, remember that it is not only good for them, but it is also good for you. Helping others is a win-win situation.

According to a study, not asking for help is a trauma response. So, be helpful. And that’s how you’re going to build confidence to ask for it when you need it.

Be Helpful

Asking for help at work is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you’re willing to learn and grow, and that you’re confident enough to ask for assistance. So, don’t be afraid to ask for it when you need it.

Above all, as individuals who adeptly navigate challenges, extending support to our juniors and colleagues at work not only fosters tranquility but also fortifies our own support system.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’ – Helen Keller

If you are afraid to ask for help at work, I encourage you to try it. You may be surprised at how helpful and supportive your colleagues can be.

Extend help, seek assistance, and build cultures of trust and engagement in the workplace and beyond.

Shanzeh Shunaid

Shanzeh Shunaid

Shanzeh is the CEO of SMB Services. A specialist in delivering sustainable solutions to those in need, she enjoys working on building startups from grass root levels. When not strategizing for core competency, Shanzeh shares her invaluable insights on the industry with our readers.

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