C-Suite Network™

Why Strong Leaders Are Never Afraid to Ask for Help

For some company leaders, the experience of saying the words, “Could you give me some help on this” feels as uncomfortable and unfamiliar as putting on a new pair of shoes. Some leaders are too shy to ask for help. But the bigger issue for many company leaders is that they fear that they will appear incapable, unintelligent or even helpless. One company leader expressed her reservations to me this way, “People expect me to know all the answers. If I ask for help or even suggestions, people are going to think that I don’t know how to make the best decisions for our company.”

I have led a number of organizations and I have a totally different take on this issue. I am convinced that people feel validated and appreciated when I ask them for help. I also believe that people typically enjoy giving help, because we all naturally feel good about helping others.

But there are many other benefits too, including these:

  • You discover strengths and abilities in other people that you might have missed in the past.
  • You cultivate a stronger, braver and more balanced team.
  • You enable people to do more of what they do best, which makes them happier on the job, reduces turnover, improves productivity and pays other unexpected benefits.
  • You establish a healthy atmosphere of give-and-take. When someone helps you, they sense that you “owe” them a favor and are more like to ask for one in return.
  • You show that you do not think you are perfect, which shows that you are a confident leader, not an arrogant one.
  • You free more of your time to manage top-level responsibilities like long-range planning, defining your company’s vision and mission, cultivating new business, and just plain thinking about the biggest issues and opportunities that lie before you. This could be the biggest benefit of all.

Asking for Help Builds Healthy Give-and-Take

After I have asked for help, I often go on to say, “Please feel free to ask me for help if you ever need anything.” Even if I don’t say that, people know they can ask me, because I have established a pattern of being helpful. And I think my efforts have helped build deeper relationships and greater organizational success.

An Experiment for You to Try . . .

Over the next few days, consciously take time to ask people for more help. Consider their reactions. And over time, evaluate how your relationships with those people have improved.

I’m not suggesting you ask for help just for the sake of asking for help, or just to make people feel good. When you do need help, however, don’t shy away from asking. People will appreciate you more. When you ask people for assistance, you demonstrate that you respect their expertise and effort. That will help create a stronger bond between you and those around you and build a much stronger organization.

About the Author

Evan Hackel, the creator of the concept of Ingaged Leadership, is a recognized franchising expert and consultant and successful businessman. Evan is also a professional speaker and author.

Evan is Principal and Founder of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. A leader in the field of training as well, Evan serves as CEO of Tortal Training, a Charlotte North Carolina-based firm that specializes in developing and implementing interactive training solutions for companies in all sectors. To learn more about Inage Consulting and Evan’s book Ingaging Leadership, visit Ingage.net



Evan Hackel

More Articles by Author