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

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

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

“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. knowing the difference between following up and pestering Best way is to ask.. and perhaps don't even need to 'ask'.I told him that. Most others rest on fine lines dividing mere acquaintances. But in all other circumstances. recognize it as a "no". 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. evaluating the nature of relationship is most critical to deciding whether or not. There are always those people whom we can call at the middle of the night for help. etc. because that is exactly and genuinely what I felt at that time. No TIA (Thanks in Advance) or tks (thanks said in the most unthankful way).forgetting the good old etiquette Good manner never go out of fashion. can you pleeeease help me get a cab?" I wasn't calling to catch up with him. 468 Likes 24 Comments . If you are so lazy that you cannot type out a proper “thank you” — why should someone take out time to help you? Also. Imagine how insulting it would be. In a dire situation. with an obligation to "respond at the earliest". and close it. It would be disrespectful to say so. when. have a terrible fight and still know you can count on them. But those relationships are few and precious. peers and a whole lot of combinations. it is important to reflect on the nature of relationship we have with the person we are seeking help from. etc.. Mistake #5) "TIA" . how are you.. Finally. people we are 'friendly with'. send a polite thankyou mail anyways. you would probably ask even a stranger for help. had I said - "Hii its been a long time. I am stuck at this place. the approach BEFORE and AFTER seeking help counts Even before deciding on the right approach to seek help. how much and how you will ask for help. listen can you please do me a favor.

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

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awesome read Like Reply Nitin Jawarkar 1d Middleware SME at HSBC Technology India (HTI) Really eye opener article.. you have simply made me know the diplomacy of asking an help.. Appreciate and thank you for sharing. 468 Likes 24 Comments .. Leave your thoughts here… Jayanthi D 3h Delivery Manager at Infosys The last paragraph is a superb gist . Like Reply 1 Suresh Kumar Gopala Setty 1d Managing Partner at Alpha High-Tech Polyurethanes Namaste Madam. 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.nicely articulated Like Reply Sudhir Bahel 20h Dean Training & Placements The last paragraph is simply amazing about the way it summaries the crux. Show more.. I have been honest. Like Reply 1 1 Vijendra Singh Rathore 14h Managing Director Motion Media… Good article. straight forward. open and clear about my requirements and even assuring of not looking for micro details but generic bullet points. But I have known many people do not come forward to share their knowledge for the fear of completion. polite.

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