Some people think asking for help is a sign of weakness. Others believe if you want something done right, do it yourself. Reject these notions.
A leader delegates well and recognizes when to collaborate for the greater good. After all, what's a great leader without a great team?
The key is knowing when and how to ask for help, and what to do with what's provided.
When to ask for help. If you have exhausted all potential solutions or you are in over your head, don't be afraid to reach out. If you can approach your manager or colleague in an effort to gain their assistance and you can show them what you have already done, not only will they see that as helpful to what they have to accomplish, they will know you are not simply asking them to do it for you because you are lazy.
Choose your time wisely. Ask if they are available to chat or schedule a time to meet rather than barging in and telling them about your difficulties. They could misread your plea for help as you simply venting about a problem. Instead, approach them when they are prepared to listen and they will be more willing to help you.
Don't be a martyr. Struggling does not show people how hard you are willing to work so much as it displays how inefficient you can be. After you have hit the wall and examined all possibilities, don't waste time, go to get some help.
How to ask for help. Demonstrate what you have already tried to save them time. Be clear about what you need and when you need it completed. Give them some options and you can turn your quest for help into a collaborative session with a manager or colleague.
Provide them with the resources they need to complete the task. Even if it takes some time to train them, it will pay dividends down the road. You won't win any fans by delegating a difficult task without equipping that person to complete it quickly and efficiently.
Give thanks. Even if the task is not completed to your level of standards, thank them for helping you in your time of need. If this task becomes something you intend to delegate regularly, you can provide coaching before you need their help again. But thank them immediately.
A genuine thank you will often times mean more to people than money. Thank them in person, and in writing via an email or a personal note. Recognition and meaningful gratitude will almost guarantee that they will help you again if needed.
Asking for help can be a powerful tool if you employ it strategically and properly. If done successfully you will have the added comfort moving forward knowing that your team has your back. And you can't put a price on peace of mind.
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About the Author:
David B. Nast owns FocalPoint Business Coaching & Corporate Training based in Cherry Hill, NJ. David is an Award-Winning Certified Business Leadership Coach with over 20 years of experience in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Corporate Training, Career Coaching, Executive Search, and Human Resources. He has coached thousands of CEOs, Business Owners and Executives.