How to professionally ask for help at work without feeling judgedHave you ever asked for help at work and did you receive the right support?
As a professional asking for help within the working environment is always challenging. The fear of being judged or misunderstood can become the main obstacle. There is a sort of stigma around being vulnerable and exposing your insecurities at the workplace. Even though, according to the Harvard Business Review “it is virtually impossible to advance in modern organizations without assistance from others. […] Your performance, development, and career progression depend more than ever on your seeking out the advice, referrals, and resources you need. In fact, estimates suggest that as much as 75% to 90% of the help coworkers give one another is in response to direct appeals.”
What are the most effective strategies to apply when you feel it’s time to ask for help in a professional way?
Be sure that you really need help
Don’t be hasty and ponder well upon the moment when you decide to ask for help. Do you think it will solve your problem or you just need more time for elaborating the solution and finding the right tool? We all know that there are days when at work everything seems to be going completely wrong, and we just simply need to regain a more lucid and objective approach. Before asking for help it is advisable to try solving the problem on your own and later discuss what you have been able to put together. It is going to make it easier even for your peers or managers to help you unlock the problem.
Don’t make it a constant habit
The number of times a person asks for help at the workplace, especially if it is excessive, can have a negative impact on your professional persona. You risk losing the sense of being sufficiently independent and the esteem that your coworkers have for you. Don’t make it a habit, avoid overloading your colleagues with the activities that you should normally manage by yourself.
Be humble and respectful
The last thing you want to do is start being rude or arrogant. Diplomacy is a key element when you ask for help. Express your issue with the due respect by putting yourself at the same level with the person that accepted your request. It is all about teamwork and sharing opinions in order to solve the problem with agility and intelligence.
Ask the right people within the company
This is maybe the most strategic part of the game, because you can’t risk asking for help the wrong person that might take advantage of your situation and turn it against you. Be smart when you have to find the right people that can truly give you the right support. You can’t ignore the fact that competition is part of every workplace environment.
It is always a great proof of mutual support to give a feedback to the person that contributed in solving your problem. Provide them with the updates on the work they helped you with. Make them feel part of a process and do not undervalue the positive impact that this feedback may have.
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