It seems like leaders are always lamenting the lack of cooperation and collaboration in their organizations. But more often than not, the culprit isn’t their employees’ unwillingness to give others a hand — it’s the fact that most people simply don’t, or won’t, ask for help.
Why? First, asking for help is often perceived as a sign of weakness or ignorance, implying that someone can’t get their work done on their own. A second common barrier is nervousness about incurring social debts or obligations — ”What do I owe this person now?”
Third, and for American workers in particular, personal values can get in the way. Self-reliance is one of the 10 core values that I recently documented in four national surveys, and while it’s an admirable trait, it’s also self-limiting. In today’s organizations, you can’t be successful if you don’t ask for what you need.
So how can you make asking for help easier? There are five important lessons for how to ask for assistance at work, and how organizations can create environments where asking for help is encouraged. Read more…