Swati Jena

Harvard II XLRI II Pearson II PwC

"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

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

and I need some help" .This method does not work because people don't like being cornered into doing anything. 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. A better way. start with saying you are calling to seek help. 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. Just when the other person is starting to feel good about someone having remembered you in this busy world. "Hey listen..did I mention . at 9. Her spouse was the national head of a major cab network. how have you been". and disturbing you for something so trivial at 468 Likes your level. Let the conversation reflect it.. and could not think of anyone else who could help me. Finish that. Imagine calling the spouse of a friend. "I am so embarrassed I am calling you after 5 years." If the mistake in this approach is not already obvious. after 5 years... let me state it.. I was stranded in a remote location in Bangalore after a workshop and could not find any cabs at a late hour. so late.in another city!! - to divert a cab for me.showing care when you don't mean it This one feels like a sting.30 pm . Even if you have called after ages. This is what I told him. 24 Comments But I am stranded. That's what on your mind. I needed a small help. People feel cheated. An ex-colleague calls unexpectedly. worse insulted. with a cheerful "Hiii" followed by conversation on "its been a while. comes the killer statement (usually made to sound very casual).how have you been" part. else it should not be force-fitted) Mistake #4) "Thought I will catch up." ... then move to the "so..

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

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

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

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