Sharing, musing, reflecting...

The Power of Asking by Chantal Burns

Recently, I attended a business retreat with a group of entrepreneurs and business owners. There was a common theme that emerged and it’s one that I see with many of my clients.
Some of the group admitted that they don’t ask for help often enough. They struggle on, trying to solve problems or achieve their goals.  Many said that it often takes alot of energy and time when they go it alone and the results are not always the best they could be.
By comparison, the rest of the group described how they have really strong support networks that they nurture and rely on. These might be colleagues, mentors, friends or family.
They described how they readily ask others for help and they are often supporting and providing guidance to others.
I am lucky to have some incredible mentors and supporters around me and I provide alot of guidance and support to others. But I also recognise that there are times when I think I ‘should’ be able to just get on with something.
Consequently, I push on alone but I have to admit, it’s often a hard way of dealing with challenges or problems. Yet, as soon as I share it with another person, just the act of saying it out loud helps me to gain some clarity. And the ears and eyes of someone else brings a new perspective to whatever I’m thinking about.
My clients give me lots of reasons for why they don’t ask for help. Here are the top reasons I hear:-
-I don’t want to look like I can’t cope
-I should be able to do this so I just get on with it
-People expect me to have the answers
-They might say no  (people tend to associate this with rejection and people don’t like rejection so they tend to avoid it)
-They’ve got enough of their own stuff to do. I don’t want to add to their load.
Perhaps you can relate to one or more of these or maybe you have other reasons. But whatever they are, you might want to challenge your beliefs and ideas.  All of these ‘reasons’ may not be as water right as they seem.
It’s worth considering – how does it benefit me to go it alone? How does it affect others when I don’t ask for help?
Here are some more of the implications of not asking for help and the benefits if you do.
- Things end up taking much longer [you could be getting more done in less time by getting input]
- You might lose objectivity if you don’t get input [tunnel vision is a common issue at work]
- You could be giving your time to other, more valuable things if you share the load
- Your ‘good’ idea could be amazing with some input from others [or terrible but you can't see that because you're too close to it]
- If you lead by example, you’ll encourage others to share the load too – thus creating a more collaborative, supportive environment
There are times to go it alone and times to share and get input. And there are also people around you who really want to help. That’s their thing.
They get huge fulfillment from supporting and helping others to achieve.  Don’t deny them that!
Asking for help when you need it isn’t a weakness. The weakness (or the faulty assumption) is thinking that you have to do it all yourself.
Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

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