In fact, bringing your people - any of them - into your confidence and asking for help, is a very powerful tool indeed. The form of words’ “I need your help", works best. Here are Ten Reasons why this is:-
- You Appeal to Emotions
By asking an ‘emotional’ question you become very open and honest, which makes your people want to help you - this is a positive and not a ‘feeling sorry’ thing. It's a very natural reaction from them.
- You Value Others
Then they feel that you find at least something worthwhile in them - it makes them feels hugely valuable - inside. This helps bond your relationship and that of the team you are working with as a whole.
- You Share the Load - and the Experience
By having someone help you it makes for much lighter work - ‘a problem shared. . . ’ etc. And by helping them work through a tricky experience with you, they will develop and grow for the future.
- Other People are Much Better than You!
It's true! You are not the best at everything - nor do you need to be. In fact the very best managers and leaders surround themselves with people who are much better, in their own field, than they themselves are. That's the sign of a great manager or leader.
- You are a Model
By asking for help yourself, you will show others that this is an OK thing to do. Thus they will start to do the same. Needing help is a challenge, yet it is all the better if it opens up ways of working better, more supportively; more creatively together. Lead the way!
- It Shows You are Human
Yes, it's OK too to have shortcomings. In fact that old model of the boss who knows everything and is just perfect was never true. By showing that you too have your ups and downs; have weaknesses, fears and doubts, makes you much closer to your people. (Hint - it's how they are feeling)
- Vulnerability is Attractive
Ever stopped to help an injured animal; or sooth a crying baby? How compelling was that vulnerability? When you need and ask for help, you are a much more interesting proposition. Your people will love you for it!
- Their Confidence Builds
As you take on board the support and help others give you, their ideas translate into brilliant solutions to the problems. By acknowledging the help you have been given and the real, better solutions they have shared, they will become much more confident - and a lack of confidence holds the whole world back.
- Two Heads are Better than One
Better solutions to issues comes from collaboration. the “I need your help" may well not be confined to a one to one relationship. By requesting help from your whole team, you can leverage that whole relationship. But take care not to dilute the effect by blandly using this excellent tool - churning it out without real meaning. One to one works best - because intimate, close and appealing requests work best.
- You Stimulate Dialogue
As you have done the asking, you encourage others to ‘coach’ you! How cool is that - the coach being coached! Yet, this dialogue is full of incredible richness. In fact someone once wrote, “Business is just a series of conversations" - what a wonderful start to yours!
Try it next time you need some help. Start small, with little challenges you have and build your and their confidence. Watch out for the massive changes you see in your relationships with others.
Copyright 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com . (Note to editors. Feel free to use this article, wherever you think it might be of value - it would be good if you could include a live link)
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