Many stories we tell ourselves about career success are actually holding us back and keeping us stuck. For many, success means they must look self-reliant, confident, and always sure of what they do. So, when they’re stuck with an issue, they refuse to ask for support. What are some of the myths about asking for help at work that may be holding them—and you—back from achieving your full potential?
Myth #1: It shows you cannot do your job
It’s normal to fear judgment in an office environment, especially when you’re positioning yourself for a promotion or a raise. However, asking for help does not reflect incompetence. It tells others you care about your responsibilities and want to get the best results possible.
Furthermore, it says you trust your teammates and are interested in learning from their skills and experience. These are leadership qualities that will benefit your team.
Myth #2: It shows weakness
Vulnerability is not weakness. For most people, career success comes with a dose of collective support both in personal and professional environments. To learn and improve at a steady pace, it’s vital to see struggles, doubts and mistakes as part of the learning process instead of as flaws.
While you can’t count on every single person, most people are happy to lend others a hand. So, be willing to open up to those who will be there to share what they know and help you grow.
Myth #3: You will be a burden to your team
It’s not uncommon for people to feel guilty about asking for help. Your colleagues are busy, too, and may have too much on their plate already.
This can make you think twice before reaching out to a teammate or manager.
Think about it this way: it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure the team performs at its best. So, instead of being a burden to your team, you’re making sure the project flows quickly and efficiently as you learn from your colleagues and continue with the next task.
Deep down, what is keeping you stuck is fear of people’s opinions of your skills and qualities. However, not reaching out for help keeps you overworked and isolated, and prevents you from learning and improving. To get unstuck, star by opening yourself up for help and collaboration. It shows vital leadership skills such as confidence, trust in your team, and willingness to learn.
If you’re still not sure about how to ask for help at work, watch this video in which Heidi Grant explains how to go about it and receive a positive response every time: