Strategies to Help You Get Support 

Asking for help at work is an important and necessary part of any job. It can be difficult to admit that you need assistance, especially if you feel like you should be able to handle everything on your own. However, asking for help can actually be a sign of strength and can lead to greater success in your work. 

Why Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength 

Asking for help at work is important for several reasons. It can improve your performance by ensuring that you are on the right track and avoiding mistakes. It can also help you learn and grow by seeking assistance from more experienced colleagues and expanding your expertise. Asking for help can foster collaboration and teamwork within your team, and it can reduce stress and improve your overall mental health by alleviating some of the burden of trying to handle everything on your own.  

When it comes to seeking support, many have fears of being rejected or that the request will make them appear weak. Research from Harvard Business Review reveals the opposite, proving that asking for help can have a positive effect on an individual’s perceived competence. Asking for help ultimately is a sign of strength and an important part of being successful in your work.  

Here are some strategies to help you get support when you need it: 

Tips for Seeking Support at Work: 

  1. Do Your Research 

Before you ask for help, it is important to do your research so you can know exactly what you need assistance with. Be specific and explain the exact task or problem you are struggling with. This increases your chances of getting the assistance you require and maintaining a positive professional reputation. It demonstrates the effort you have already put in to resolve the issue on your own before turning to others for help. This will make it easier for someone to understand how they can best assist you.  

Taking the time to look for possible solutions before bringing the issue to another team member is a great way to try to understand your problem more. When you try and figure it out on your own, you may be surprised at how often you can solve it yourself without even needing to ask a question in the first place.  

  1. Choose the Right Person to Ask 

Consider who is best suited to help you with the specific task or problem you are facing. This might be a colleague with relevant expertise, a supervisor, or someone in a leadership position. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ideas from multiple sources. By considering different solutions and approaches, you can find the best solution for your situation. 

Team members who are not afraid to seek help from various sources are able to generate innovative ideas and fresh perspectives on how to solve problems that may not have been apparent to them previously. According to a study conducted by the O.C. Tanner Institute, about 3 out of 4 individuals who frequently ask for help and seek out advice are recognized for their outstanding work. This illuminates how asking for help and guidance leads to better, stronger, and more successful outcomes compared to attempting to tackle challenges on your own. 

  1. Communicate Clearly and Respectfully.  

When you ask for help, be sure to communicate clearly and respectfully. The way you present your request for help can greatly impact whether or not you receive the support you need and how you are perceived by your colleagues. Explain the situation and your needs in a calm and professional manner and be open to feedback and suggestions. By doing so, you will demonstrate your initiative and commitment to finding a solution. 

Being able to understand what you need help with and effectively communicate that to the person you are seeking support from is vital in receiving the advice needed to move you forward. Research from McKinsey revealed that teams with strong connections and networks tend to be more productive, with some studies showing that they can improve their output by as much as 20-25%. This highlights the importance of building and maintaining good relationships where team members feel they can ask for help. It can lead to significant benefits in terms of productivity and success. 

Just Ask 

Asking for help at work is a crucial part of any job. It can lead to improved performance, learning and growth, collaboration, and reduced stress. By identifying your specific needs, choosing the right person to ask, communicating clearly and respectfully, and being open to different solutions, you can effectively get the support you need to succeed in your work. 


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