Difficulty in asking for help is a common ego-challenge* amongst leaders and an inevitable one to resolve in a hyper-connected century in which collaboration is indispensable. Knowing how to ask for help is a leadership skill that must be developed. *An ego-challenge is fear-based and tied to a self-worth preoccupation.
Personally, the reasons why I don’t ask for help are:
- I don’t want to appear weak, incompetent and wrong.
- I don’t like to be told what to do, especially when I’m usually the one who is dictating what to do.
- I might not know exactly what I need. Therefore I might be misunderstood, in addition to appearing weak, incompetent and wrong.
- Overall, I don’t trust that others can help me. I fundamentally believe that I can only count on myself.
There is both truth and confusion in this fundamental belief.
When I ask for help from a place of confusion, it’s usually unproductive, and it feeds the reasons why I don’t want to ask for help and why others can’t help me.
However, it is true that everything starts with me, and in this sense, I can only count on myself.
If I ask for help from this place of clarity and responsibility, I can accept that others might not want to help me.
I can also accept that others might be imperfect in their advices; they can misunderstand my needs, become pushy or awkward, while wholeheartedly attempting to help me.
Eventually, in order to productively ask for help in the XXI century, I can learn to count on others to a certain extent, but I can only count on myself to open the door of my heart and let them in.
I wish YOU a peaceful closure to 2014 before opening the door to 2015, and to OTHERS!
Reflections: What are your most unproductive ways to asking for help and what are your best practices? I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to share!