Swati Jena

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"I just want a small help": 5 classic mistakes to AVOID while asking for
help
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
468 Likes
2.Comments
24 They fear the other person will avoid them if they get to know of the "real" agenda

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

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

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

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

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

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