Today’s article is written by James Pointon. James is a customer consultant and a team leader at OpenAgent, a job which taught him the value of being able to work efficiently with others. James constantly tries to improve all his skills, the leadership skills included and is always happy to share some of his tips with others.

For some leaders out there, asking for help is a huge challenge. That is often true for those who seem capable of tackling any challenge on their own. Most of the time, they somehow don’t seem capable of asking for help.

Some bosses never ask for help

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If you’re a leader at your organization, you probably think that asking for help will make you look vulnerable. Naturally, you want to avoid it. That’s how you end up having to perform difficult tasks completely on your own.

You’re not alone in this attitude.

Many managers out there believe that asking for help shows that they can’t do something on their own. It’s a sign of weakness.

Some think that allowing someone else to help me means they can easily lose control of the situation. Also, receiving support means that they might have to reciprocate – and what happens if they can’t return the favor?

You might be one of those leaders who think that asking others for help is a burden. They’re busy, so why would they take the time to help you out, right?

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Finally, many leaders wholeheartedly believe that they’re the only ones who can do a good job. It’s quicker to do it myself than take the time to teach and train someone else to help me, they often argue.

Let’s get one thing clear: Asking for help won’t render your vision weaker.

It won’t make you seem vulnerable either.

In fact, asking for help is a great strategy to accomplish even more in realizing your vision. Here’s why you should let go of your fears and allow others to help you.

1. Helping Builds Relationships

Imagine that you’re facing a problem. You’ve got absolutely no idea how to tackle it.

In this scenario, you decide to call help.

If you put out your call for help in the public sphere, you might get to meet very smart people. The problem will help you two to connect and in the process, you might gain a powerful ally.

If help comes from someone you know, your bond will become even stronger. You’ll feel more relaxed and familiar. Ultimately, your relationship with the helper will bring you more satisfaction.

When you ask for help, you create opportunities for others to share their talent. Allowing people to help you, you empower them and get to learn more about their passions and strengths.

That’s why asking for help is such a powerful relationship-builder.

Allowing others to experience the satisfaction that comes from giving is key if you want to create meaningful professional relationships.

Also, when you ask for the support you’re essentially showing your trust in others. This, in turn, boosts the trust between you and the helpers.

2. Asking For Help Is Showing Respect

When you ask your team for help, they’re going to read it as a sign of respect. Even if you know how to get a task done, an employee might be able to do it faster or better.

Allow your team to help you out and you’ll boost their sense of ownership for the entire project. That’s the biggest benefit of empowerment.

3. Helping Benefits The Helper

Have you ever helped anyone with anything?

Do you remember how good you felt about yourself afterward?

Helping creates that warm glow that makes us feel really good. It’s a way to show others our talent without bragging about it.

If you don’t ask others for help, you’re not giving them the chance to benefit from all this.

That’s especially true for those who care about you and want to see you succeed. Let them help you, and you’ll make them happy.

It doesn’t make sense to be unkind to those who genuinely want to help you out.

4. Asking For Help Builds Healthy Relations

Helping is about giving.

After you ask for help, it’s smart to say something along the lines of “Please feel free to ask me for help if you ever need anything”.

But you don’t even need to say it.

People will know they can ask you because you’ve now established a pattern of being helpful towards each other.

Your effort in negotiating this type of giving and take relationship helps to build more meaningful relations with others and ultimately leads to success.

5. Not Needing Help Makes You Look Conceited

You probably believe that not asking for help will make you look stronger.

This is a huge mistake.

Being self-sufficient is a good trait, but it often leads managers to develop a kind of vanity. Deep down they might be thinking that since they are so smart and efficient, they don’t need anything from anyone.

If this ever happens to you – You need to stop.

You’re being dishonest with yourself. Everyone who has ever succeeded at anything received help at one point or another.

It might have been a teacher or mentor, a friend or relative. Perhaps in your case, it was a client or one of your colleagues?

Admit the truth and openly acknowledge that you’ve benefited from help offered by others. You didn’t need to ask for it, but you’ve received it anyway.

Be grateful and recognize the value of help to your career.

Asking for support, you’ll show others that you realize that even the best leader can’t do everything on their own. Everyone has room to grow, and perfection is nothing more than an unattainable ideal.

6. Without Help, Don’t Expect To Connect

Look at some of the most resourceful people around you. What makes them so good at developing professional networks?

They probably often ask and offer help.

Doing that, they build connections with associates and acquaintances. They grow their network in a meaningful way because these connections last much longer than the favor for which they asked.

Offering help, asking for help and giving help to others when they need it is a way to stay connected with people.

And that’s definitely worth more than the pride you have in not needing help from anyone.

Key Takeaway

Many leaders are afraid to ask for help.

There are many reasons to account for this behavior, most importantly the fear of appearing weak in front of others.

Leaders might be afraid of overstepping a relationship or appearing needy.

Essentially, leaders don’t want others to know about their struggles.

Not asking for help, they cut themselves off the valuable resources that are other people. They’re not able to build deep and meaningful relationships but instead rely on distance and respect.

To become a strong leader, you need to learn how to ask for help.

Only then will you be able to truly engage people in your vision.