It can be difficult to ask for help, especially in the workplace. For some reason asking for help is often associated with weakness or failure, but in reality it's simply acknowledging that we can't get far without learning, and learning almost always involves someone else offering a helping hand. We explore the best approaches to asking for help at work.
Making sure that you've looked at every possible angle before you go to somebody else for help will give you confidence that you've not only exhausted your own approach, but that you can prove you have to others. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh perspective, but if you're not able to show your own effort then asking for help may just present you with an answer you could've thought of yourself.
Make sure you know exactly what you're asking. There's nothing worse than asking for help, but when queried on the problem you don't even know where to begin. Having all your ducks in a row before you approach others will give you the confidence to prove exactly the route you took before getting stuck, and help them understand where the problem lies.
Don't Leave It Too Late
Make sure you nip the problem in the bud before it blooms into a monster that nobody can tackle. When the going gets tough, don't wait 'til you're neck deep to ask for help. Making sure that whatever you're stuck on is under control before you bring in reinforcements will help get the problem get solved quicker and easier, without causing a whole lot of hassle for everyone.
Offer Help to Others
If you're always there for everyone else, then they'll have your back too. Fostering a culture of teamwork and helpfulness will not only benefit you in the long run, but improve the office culture and strength of your team. If you know others have come to you for help, you should have no trouble going to them.
Asking for help can be difficult, but the more you practice the easier it becomes. Start by asking the people you're comfortable with to offer their insights on a problem, and don't be afraid to offer your own when you see someone else struggling.