How to Get Help from Someone Else?

Knowledge Center

Roland van der Leede
Manager, Netherlands

How to Get Help from Someone Else?

Most people are a bit reluctant to ask for help, especially in the work environment. That is because we feel uncertain, are afraid to be rejected, or fear for diminished status.
Heidi Grant argues that asking for help is an important skill in modern organizations. So we should get over our reluctance to ask for assistance.

For that the following interesting psychological approach can be helpful. It uses 4 clues to make the helper feel good about him/herself for helping you:
  1. Make the helper REALIZE you need help. Say: "I have a problem and need your help".
  2. Make the helper BELIEVE that you want help. Make the helper see you want help from her and don't want to go it alone.
  3. Make the helper take RESPONSIBILITY for helping. So you'd better ask her personal and in private.
  4. Ensure the helper is actually ABLE to provide the help you need. Be specific about what you need. She must have the skills / resources.
Source: Heidi Grant, "How to Get the help you Need: People are Surprisingly Willing to Give Support - If you Ask for It in the Right Way", HBR May-Jun 2018, pp.142-145

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