Swati Jena

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"I just want a small help": 5 classic mistakes to AVOID while asking for
May 1, 2017 • 468 Likes • 24 Comments

We all need help at times.

And wisdom says, when we do, we should have the humility to accept that we need it and ask for it.

But like everything else, there are ways to do it.

Ways that are right, and ways that are not.

Here are 4 things to NOT do while asking for help

Mistake #1) "I have to talk to you about something" - being unclear, indirect, devious
Sending vague messages like - "hey I want to talk to you about something" or "I have something to ask
you", is the most common mistake.

People use this indirect method for 2 reasons:

1. They are generally uncomfortable being straightforward
24 They fear the other person will avoid them if they get to know of the "real" agenda

leader. etc. Often people use phrases like "small help" to try and make the help appear less daunting to the other person This approach too is a mistake and reduces chances of getting the help. big or small . Just because people are from a certain background or profession.coach. This means they will resist more than they naturally would. 468 Likes "You are from 24 Comments HR so you must give opportunity". but we may not know what is going on in the other person's life. (Informed decision does not mean you writing "Urgent!! pls respond". "Small help" doesn't sound encouraging State the EXACT thing you need And try saying a "BIG thankyou" Mistake #3) "You are a leader. We may make assumptions that something will take only a little effort or time from the other person. Mistake #2) "I need a small help" . so you must consider my case".obliged agreement This is the worst mistake of all.If anything. None of it means anything. being indirect and misleading can reduce the chances of getting help.defining the magnitude of help This is an extension of what I said earlier about informed decision. The other person could be anyone or anything . Whether something is urgent or not. is your best bet. etc. they are not obliged to stand by a value system you think they should.. When people don't know what to expect in a discussion. you must give new-comers a chance" . If your assessment of "small" help does not match the other person's assessment of the effort required. self- made. "You are a woman.they raise their defense. they are likely to feel manipulated People like to feel good about having extended some significant help. they will usually assign it a lower priority. and definitely not one that is convenient to your purpose.is the decision of the person who is extending the help. When people cannot take an informed decision* on the "urgency" of your need. It means you sharing the actual facts and they deciding if it is urgent) Stating upfront that you need help with <specify>. rich. . but suspect something will be asked from them .

. let me state it. Her spouse was the national head of a major cab network. so late. start with saying you are calling to seek help. and disturbing you for something so trivial at 468 Likes your level. comes the killer statement (usually made to sound very casual). A better way. else it should not be force-fitted) Mistake #4) "Thought I will catch up. with a cheerful "Hiii" followed by conversation on "its been a while.. Finish that. at 9.30 pm .This method does not work because people don't like being cornered into doing anything.did I mention . Imagine calling the spouse of a friend. Even if you have called after ages.. after 5 years. how have you been". I needed a small help. "I am so embarrassed I am calling you after 5 years.showing care when you don't mean it This one feels like a sting. I was stranded in a remote location in Bangalore after a workshop and could not find any cabs at a late hour. then move to the "so. This is what I told him." . Being authentic about intentions is showing respect to another person I once called the husband of a good friend with whom I barely had any contact in the last 5 years..and I need some help" . Let the conversation reflect it. "Hey listen. 24 Comments But I am stranded. Just when the other person is starting to feel good about someone having remembered you in this busy world... An ex-colleague calls unexpectedly.in another city!! - to divert a cab for me. worse insulted. That's what on your mind. and could not think of anyone else who could help me.how have you been" part." If the mistake in this approach is not already obvious. Present honest facts about how you will put the 'help' to genuine use Taking authentic interest in the person's background and doing some research to find common ground works better* (*Authentic is the key word and common ground can be explored only if it exists... People feel cheated.

how much and how you will ask for help. peers and a whole lot of combinations. you would probably ask even a stranger for help. evaluating the nature of relationship is most critical to deciding whether or not. Example: Often we add someone on LinkedIn and immediately send a very direct mail to review someone's profile for a company you are working at. No TIA (Thanks in Advance) or tks (thanks said in the most unthankful way). send a polite thankyou mail anyways. listen can you please do me a favor. “When do you think is a good time for me to check back with you?” If you have made attempts to contact twice. etc. Most others rest on fine lines dividing mere acquaintances.I told him that. have a terrible fight and still know you can count on them. and close it.forgetting the good old etiquette Good manner never go out of fashion. But those relationships are few and precious. recognize it as a "no". the approach BEFORE and AFTER seeking help counts Even before deciding on the right approach to seek help. when. It would be disrespectful to say so. people we are 'friendly with'.. Finally. Imagine how insulting it would be. In a dire situation. had I said - "Hii its been a long time. without a response. because that is exactly and genuinely what I felt at that time. can you pleeeease help me get a cab?" I wasn't calling to catch up with him. Mistake #5) "TIA" . with an obligation to "respond at the earliest".. it is important to reflect on the nature of relationship we have with the person we are seeking help from.. There are always those people whom we can call at the middle of the night for help. I am stuck at this place. If you are so lazy that you cannot type out a proper “thank you” — why should someone take out time to help you? Also. But in all other circumstances. how are you. 468 Likes 24 Comments . etc. knowing the difference between following up and pestering Best way is to ask. and perhaps don't even need to 'ask'.

We ASSUME. a help becomes the start of a relationship. As much as we hate it. When someone says no. it hurts more. it cannot be about "techniques and strategies". But that is okay. Sometimes. Sometimes. If you reached out to friends.. we never know the REAL reason someone denied a help. That help is about relationships. And in all fairness. Sometimes the reasons are justified. Being sensitive to the relationship while asking for help is not only important to get the "help". Most of the times. and gracefulness when we don't. humility to ask for it. we must allow people the right to say no. Worse. or ignores. or avoids. it takes a relationship for someone to help us. this becomes the most important part about asking for help. gratitude when we receive it. 468 Likes 24 Comments . So. It is about honesty to accept we need help. sometimes they are not.. ***************************************************************** You can read other posts by the author on LinkedIn or Medium. No one is. it leaves us with a sense of bitterness. And when it is about human relationships. family or someone you helped in the past. it hurts. we say "no" to others aswell. Assumptions kill relationships. The second part is after someone has asked for help. but also to begin and maintain the relationship itself. we asked for? Remember that the other person is not obliged to help you. What if the other person does not offer the help..

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. Like Reply 1 1 Vijendra Singh Rathore 14h Managing Director Motion Media… Good article. you have simply made me know the diplomacy of asking an help. straight forward. 468 Likes 24 Comments . But I have known many people do not come forward to share their knowledge for the fear of completion. Like Reply 1 Suresh Kumar Gopala Setty 1d Managing Partner at Alpha High-Tech Polyurethanes Namaste Madam. open and clear about my requirements and even assuring of not looking for micro details but generic bullet points.. polite. Appreciate and thank you for sharing. Leave your thoughts here… Jayanthi D 3h Delivery Manager at Infosys The last paragraph is a superb gist . Show more.. I have been honest.nicely articulated Like Reply Sudhir Bahel 20h Dean Training & Placements The last paragraph is simply amazing about the way it summaries the crux.. Like Reply There are 19 other comments. Like Reply Sunanda Rajaram 1d Founder of ULLAAS HERBALS I have asked for help from a few without making any of these 5 mistakes.awesome read Like Reply Nitin Jawarkar 1d Middleware SME at HSBC Technology India (HTI) Really eye opener article.