Many people are scared to ask for help for fear of looking stupid. This self-handicapping behavior might be the single biggest thing holding back students. It may provide short term-comfort, but often this is at the expense of long-term development. So, how can we help young people understand why it is so important to ask for help?
A recent review of the research found that asking for help, or more specifically sharing personal information and problems, demonstrates to others that we like them and want to develop the relationship. Also, by sharing information, we are able to create a positive impression of ourselves. People who are willing to share information are seen as more trusting, friendly, and warm. These are the attributes people look for when choosing who to develop a relationship with.
Help is good for your career
There are many factors to think about when trying to find a satisfying career: autonomy, creative freedom and meaning are a few examples. But one of the biggest things to consider is how your work impacts others.
People who work as a medical professional, psychologist, religious figure or firefighter often give high ratings of job satisfaction. The connection between all of these professions is that they all help people on a regular basis.
Those who are happiest in their job, more committed and less likely to quit make it a priority to help others – either co-workers or customers.
Even if your job doesn’t deal with people directly, it can help to think about how your work helps people in some way. By taking time to think about what you do and how it helps people in some capacity, you’ll feel better about it – even if it’s just a little.
It’s good for business
What’s the goal of a business? One answer might be making money by selling a product or service. Yes, that’s true. But I’d take it a step further: businesses make money by finding ways to help people.
Look at these examples: Google was created to make searching the internet easier and faster, with better results. Gyms earn money by providing a place to exercise.
Uber is trying to make on-demand car service better. Amazon simplified online buying and selling so it’s easier. Businesses often seem shady because they’re seen as money-driven. The image of a corporate raider using sneaky tactics to weasel their way through a system is commonplace, and there is some truth to it. Not all companies help others – cigarette companies for example.
But the companies that do best, focus on helping others and solving their problems. Both Steve Jobs and Henry Ford revolutionized the world by solving problems people didn’t even realize they had. Businesses that solve problems in the best and cheapest way will win – and we win right along with them.
It builds the courage to accept rejection
In the worst-case scenario, you will hear a ‘No’ to your call for help, but that doesn’t mean you should feel awkward or uncomfortable. It simply means the other person has some other work at hand (as we all do) and is unable to offer help at the minute. You shouldn’t take their ‘No’ as a personal rejection. Instead, treat it as an experience using which you can better manage rejections in life.
It increases your productivity
If you choose to accept support from someone with higher skills, the person will bring along their own knowledge and skills. They might teach you something new and provide you with information you might previously not be privy to.
Need examples to understand this point? Remember the last time your coworker helped you when you asked them to guide you about an office file? Or when you asked a stranger about directions? Or when you asked your partner to put your phone on the charging station for phones?
All these examples make it clear that once you ask others for help, your productivity soars.