There are two things that I have learned during my career that have really helped me in my work: ask for help and offer help. When you think about it, the concept of those actions are simple, but it is something that some of us might not think about at first. Maybe you don't want to ask for help in fear of being looked down upon, or you don't want to bother others. Maybe you don’t offer help to others at your workplace because you are too focused on your own work. I ask you to drop all that, because I have experienced that asking and offering help can have a tremendous, positive impact on your work and for those you help.
Self reliance can be self limiting
When I was starting out in my career, I was hesitant to ask for help because I wanted to see if I could do it all on my own. I would think of all the possible solutions that could be the answer to a problem. However, this was the wrong thing to do, because while I was trying to come up with different ways in producing a solution, the clock was ticking. In the end, I was not saving any time and instead of spending time on solving more than one problem, I was stuck on the same one. I quickly learned that it was just better to ask for help from someone; maybe they know the answer or can point you to someone in their network who would know. They might also want to brainstorm with you and getting their perspective on the problem can be an invaluable source of information. Ultimately, asking for help can save you a lot of time, which can be a great positive boost in being able to complete the task or project without any delays.
Asking for help
When you go ask someone for help, you need to be respectful of their time, because they too have their own work to do. The best thing to do is be prepared.
- Provide a quick summary of the background of the problem.
- Be specific on the question asked.
- If it seems that they don't know the answer right away but they can find out, then let them know that you would appreciate their assistance when they are free.
- Always thank them.
The last thing you want to do is waste their time by meandering about in your request for help when you should be specific in your request.
Improve cooperation and collaboration
On the other side, offering help to others is a wonderful opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to someone's life. After all, you are on the same team as your colleagues and each of your successes are a success for the team. There are many benefits one can gain by helping others:
- Strengthening the relationships between you and your team mates. This will improve the culture of your organization.
- It is an opportunity to be appreciated for your knowledge on the subject.
- You might become known as the expert in a particular area.
- It lays the future groundwork for cooperation.
At the end of the day, helping someone will make their life better and put a smile on their face. If you help someone, they are more likely to help you when you need it.
Whether you ask for help or help someone with a task, it will have a positive impact on both the human relationship level and at the project level. It is a powerful way to improve cooperation and collaboration with those in your network.