HR Strategy

Help! I Need Somebody: When and How to Ask for Help

August 15, 2018

Your to-do list is overwhelming, with tasks piling on top of an already heaping pile. Do you feel there is never enough time to tackle even the smallest thing? If you could just have a few extra hours to get this done, or even some assistance from an employee or management, it would make your life easier. What if there isn’t even enough staff to get the job done, and the majority of the workload falls on you? Have you ever just had too much on your plate? We have all been in those shoes at some point in our lives and our jobs. Whether you are short on the time needed to complete these tasks, or overworked and understaffed, there comes a point where you just need a helping hand.

What happens when you don’t seek the help you need? Getting much-needed support and assistance can not only alleviate some of the workload, it can play a large role in reducing undue stress on yourself. Not seeking or getting help when needed may not only affect your job, but harm your personal health and well-being. So why is it sometimes hard to ask for help?

Often, we can ourselves put up the biggest barriers that hold us back. One of the main reasons people avoid seeking support from others is having too much pride. According to Dr. Wayne Baker, Professor at University of Michigan School of Business, “Western cultures have a strong value of self-reliance and individualism that gets in the way of asking for what we need.” We want to appear like we can do it all on our own, without having to depend on others to do a job for us, or we worry about looking like we are trying to pass the ball to someone else. Sometimes there’s a perception that asking for help from others is a sign of weakness. In a leadership role, not wanting to appear incompetent or fear of failure, rejection, or intimidation are all reasons someone may be reluctant to ask for help. For others, your manager may not understand all that goes into your job. This is often the case with people in the HR profession, where all the work may not be apparent until you’re in the role.

Sometimes, the hardest part can be deciding when it’s time to ask for help. You’ve probably caught yourself thinking, “Can I do it on my own or is there just too much to do?” which makes the workload feel even more overwhelming. So when is it time to ask for help? And how do you ask for the support you need? Download our FREE ‘Help Wanted’ Guide which will give you a good starting place for when and how to ask for support.

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