You may find it difficult to say these four words; this can poke your ego as well; if used with right intention, can certainly have a powerful impact not only on your career but your life and other people too.
When you need help, do not hesitate to say these four words: “Can you help me?”
Don’t try playing around with words after this; don’t say anything else. We all are experienced in our areas and we have attained our place in this world. So when we ask for help, we can’t help keeping our ego aside. It tends to happen unconsciously when we think more about our image.
For example, I need help with a presentation with some formatting tweaks and say “I have a presentation on company’s annual meet and my slides need a little tweak in the formatting”. Am I trying to act smart by playing with my words? Do you notice the level of ego even while asking for help? I haven’t really asked for help, I have just stated (even though you know you are asking for help).
It is easy to get this habit when you are accustomed to directing others, where requests change turn into directives. Formatting tweaks may be a little thing but the way we frame words for seeking help, certainly impacts others’ perception. We sure tend to protect our ego.
Suggesting a better way to ask:
- Whenever you need help – It doesn’t matter the kind of help you need or from whom you need it; you just need to set aside your magnified image and communicate the four words with humbleness and sincerity, “Can you help me?”
We just can’t reply with a “No” when someone asks for help. We know we can’t help wanting to help. When you are this humble, it’s guaranteed to have positive replies.
- Avoid framing words – Don’t try to play with words that intend to protect your ego. It simply implies that you are placing your image above the other. Don’t try to post “too specific” requests and don’t say what you “need”. You need to say what you can’t do and need help on the same. Like “I am bad at PowerPoint and have no idea how to make these slides look better”; “We have to deliver the articles by tomorrow and I have no idea how make it happen”; “I need to get stationary arranged for the meeting and I don’t know from where to get it from”.
When you follow the above illustrated way, you happen to transfer powerful vibes to the person. The following powerful things happen for the person when you ask:
- You are conveying respect instantly. You indirectly are saying “You know more than I know”, “You can do something that I can’t do”, “Only you can do this”. Above all this you have said “I respect you”, which is empowering and motivating.
- You are conveying trust on that person instantly and admitting to weakness. You have said “I trust you”, which shows the level of faith you have on that person- powerful and empowering.
- You are conveying your willingness to listen; giving them the freedom to decide even when you are not telling them how they should help you. You have said “Please tell me what YOU think I should do, NOT what I want to hear”. This level of freedom is powerful and empowering.
By showing this level of trust, respect and freedom to share their expertise or knowledge, you get the help you really need.
Also Read: How To Pick And Stick To Career Goals
You might think that by asking help would place a burden on other people, but it actually works the other way. You are actually making it easier and comfortable for others to ask for help when they need it, as you have illustrated that there is nothing wrong with expressing your weaknesses and accepting that you need others’ help.
Moreover, it gives them a sense of satisfaction and pride that they are respected and trusted upon. It works around positively and builds a healthy atmosphere around. So instead of being directive, you can ask for help with sincerity and respect.
Do not forget to mention the two more powerful words: “Thank you”. You will be more than invited next time you ask for help!