Part of our “The Art of Subtle Suggestion: Guiding Principles for Engaging and Collaborative Communication” series.

Asking for help can be one of the most beneficial things we do; however, it can also be one of the hardest things for us to do.  Because asking for help comes with admitting that we DO need help, it can be a hard pill to swallow.

It’s okay to pride ourselves on being able to do things on our own.  It’s also okay to pride ourselves on not needing anyone else’s help to do it.  And, IT IS okay to get help when we DO need it!  Whether it’s help with a task or understanding information, a situation, what’s being asked of you, etc., IT IS okay to ask!

In the absence of an answer, such as, knowing which direction to head with a project or the career trajectory our boss has in mind for us, it’s okay to ask for help in understanding what that is!  Over this past week, this has been a very real topic of conversation with several of my clients.  For them, just like for the rest of us, there is a sense of unease, anxiety, and stress which comes with not having the answer we are looking for.  At the heart of this simply is not knowing.  By asking for help, we not only get the clarity we seek, we also alleviate the unease, anxiety, and stress that comes with not knowing.

When it comes down to it, because we may be reticent to ask for help, we may not have clearly asked the right question(s) in our prior conversations with others.  For example, instead of asking our boss what their thoughts are on our career trajectory, we may have “soft” pitched the question to “feel” them out for their thoughts.

While we may think we are gauging their answer to this question, we may not have asked it clearly enough for them to truly understand what we wanted from them.  Instead, IT IS okay to be very direct and ask them the question: “What is the career path you have in mind for me?”  Not only does this get the true question out in the open, it also elicits the true answer we are seeking.  Furthermore, it allows us to then plan accordingly which also lessens our uneasiness, anxiety, and stress.

Asking for help isn’t always about help with a task we have on our plate, it can also be about our understanding so we may know how to move forward with a clear-cut answer.  IT IS okay to ask these questions, and IT IS okay to ask these questions clearly and directly.  Asking these questions clearly and directly in a way that not only gets the answers we seek, but also, engages others in the conversation is an artform.

Here at Strive For More, we can teach you this art, the Art of Subtle Suggestion, to be okay with asking for helping in a direct way which not only gets the answer you seek, but is also collaborative and engaging for the other person.

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