Swati Jena

Harvard II XLRI II Pearson II PwC

"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

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

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

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

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

 5 reasons we should 'stop fighting for a cause' 18. you don't deserve it": 3 cardinal tests for anyone who calls himself leader 2. The (difficult) art of doing nothing and why it matter in a world proud of "busy" 12. situations. Why the 'Corporate-style Women's Day Celebrations' gives me the creeps 10. what will humans do": Why AI Rhetoric deeply worries me 3. "I love solving problems": The BIG problem with problem solving 4.. "If you are nothing without the suit. don't fall in love 6. "So why are you leaving?": Don't treat retention discussions like a ONE TIME date 13. The Monkey Catcher's Lesson: Why we get stuck in our jobs. 3 taboo questions Millennials are asking. Love in the time of Artificial Intelligence: Valentine's Day 2030 7. Rajinikanth and Ganpati Written by Swati Jena Harvard II XLRI II Pearson II PwC 24 comments 468 Likes 24 Comments . Flirt with your product ideas. leaving hiring managers shocked 9. 3 unforgettable lessons I learnt from an Indian Ed Tech Leader 8. driverless cars for India??: When AI meets Cows. The OOUCH of maternity leaves: Why managers secretly dread it 14. Sophisticated-fear-based-management: 3 unmistakable signs 16. 11. Man or Woman? Who should lead gender diversity? Why we are simply asking the WRONG question... (Use this link to Medium blogspot) Her other articles include: 1. "If Robots will do everything. "Here is a muffin that will make you successful": The unspoken truth about success 17. emotions. 500 Uber rides without driver talking on the phone: My personal starfish story 15. LOL . 5. Interns or cheap labor? Making internship count 19.

Like Reply 1 Suresh Kumar Gopala Setty 1d Managing Partner at Alpha High-Tech Polyurethanes Namaste Madam. Leave your thoughts here… Jayanthi D 3h Delivery Manager at Infosys The last paragraph is a superb gist . Show more. you have simply made me know the diplomacy of asking an help. Like Reply 1 1 Vijendra Singh Rathore 14h Managing Director Motion Media… Good article. open and clear about my requirements and even assuring of not looking for micro details but generic bullet points. I have been honest. polite... Appreciate and thank you for sharing. 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. straight forward.awesome read Like Reply Nitin Jawarkar 1d Middleware SME at HSBC Technology India (HTI) Really eye opener article. But I have known many people do not come forward to share their knowledge for the fear of completion. 468 Likes 24 Comments . Like Reply There are 19 other comments.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful