Blog Archive

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Help is not a four-letter word

Written by Jay Olson
Regional Talent Acquisition Leader
Minneapolis, MN

When was the last time you asked for help?  Better yet, when was the last time you asked for help and the person you asked said, “no.”?  As I play through that scenario in my mind I honestly can’t think of the last time someone was unwilling to help me if I asked them.  That’s not to say they were able to help me right away or even as effectively as I would have hoped, but they did say “yes.”  And when all was said and done what I set out to accomplish was probably completed.

So why is it that sometimes it feels like asking for help is seen a sign of failure or something that magnifies your inability?  It’s odd, isn’t it?  So many people are willing/able to help, yet we don’t ask for it because we think it’s a bad thing.  Funny how something that is viewed as being so bad often leads to so much good.

I’m convinced that asking for help, especially as people enter the work force, is a skill that many have to actually learn.  You start your new job and the last thing you want is to be seen as someone who doesn’t have it all figured out.  I can’t blame you…it’s competitive out there! But here’s the thing; you don’t.  Nobody does.  That’s the beauty of asking for help.  You have the opportunity to always be learning something new.  So the next time that same issue rolls around or better yet, someone asks you for some help, you’re now able to provide it because you made yourself vulnerable and asked.  I don’t know many people that like to admit when they don’t know something, but those that do seem to always be the most intelligent people I interact with.

Being vulnerable to others isn’t easy, but speaking from experience I can tell you that it is far more rewarding when you are.  It’s like when you decide to actually admit when you’re wrong.  It probably isn’t fun to do, but I think most people would actually respect it because it allows the situation to be fixed or moved past more quickly.  So the next time you have a question or need some help just remember that nobody expects you to know it all.  That’s the beauty of all the people around you; you have a virtually endless supply of help nearby.  The only question is are you willing to ask for it?

1 comment:

JWienecke said...

Great observation and more importantly you wrote about it. This extends to our neighbors as well. No one asks for help, we live so close yet so far. Asking for help allows for being related .. something that we all need.