Asking for help is so hard for me. I shared it with my therapist last week and he encouraged me to practice it until our next appointment. In fact, over the next three weeks, my assignment is to ask for help.
Asking for help makes me feel uncomfortable, mostly because I’m afraid of being rejected. As a result, I prefer to avoid it and do things on my own. It pays to ask for help, whether we’re searching for a mentor or just looking for feedback on our work.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is uncomfortable asking for help, therefore I’d want to share the solutions I’ve found.
Here are my takeaways from Dr. Heidi Grant, a social psychologist who studies, writes about, and speaks on leadership and motivation science. Heidi Grant provides four basic rules to follow when asking for help in order to maximize our chances of receiving it:
- Be very specific
- Avoid apologies and bribes
- Do it in person
- Follow up afterward with people who say yes
Be very specific
Be very specific about the help you need and why. When someone doesn’t know what you’re asking for, they can’t tell if they can help you. That’s because people are afraid of offering bad help. So, say exactly what you want and allow them to determine whether or not they are able and willing to do so. Even if they can’t help you directly, they may connect you to someone who can.
Avoid disclaimers, apologies, and bribes
It is a natural part of a relationship for people to help one another. It’s how we show our care. So, stay away from disclaimers, apologies, and incentives. Your connection becomes less personal and more transactional as a result of these actions.
Do it in person
Do not request help by email or text; in-person requests are more likely to be granted. According to a study, requests for help made in person are 30 times more likely to get a yes than ones made by email.
Follow up afterward, that’s crucial
What is rewarding about helping is knowing that you were effective. Giving help only feels good when you know it had an impact. If you want people to continue to help you in the long run, take the time to tell them clearly how much they helped you.
These ideas may be simple, but they really do work. Give them a try and Please let me know if this works and if you have any suggestions or comments.