What are you like about asking for help? I hate it!
Not all “asking for help”, of course. I don’t mind asking someone to lift the other end of a table, for example.
But asking for real help, with stuff that matters? Just the thought of it brings a massive wave of emotion up through my chest and into my throat.
I quickly push the thought away, and force the thing I need help with down to the bottom of my to-do list.
Phew! What a relief!
I suspect this kind of struggle happens to other people, too. And I wonder if it helps to explain why teams find Collaboration Dynamics so valuable.
Let me explain. Say I’m basically working on my own (as I mostly do), and I’ve gone through the “asking for help” struggle a few times around a particular thing. And the reality is that no matter how much I push it away, the need for help is still there.
Eventually, I’ll force myself to ask for it. If I know of an expert, someone who has told me he’s good at the stuff I’m struggling with, I’ll go there first.
For example, I recently asked Alun Richards to help with my new podcast. I know he’s delighted to have more of the work he loves, and get paid for it. I get to create something I want for my business. Win-win.
But more often, in my despair I throw my request for help out to my whole network. “Who can help with X?”
If nobody responds, my mortification is total. Not only have I exposed my inadequacy, but I still haven’t got the help I needed. I slink away and hide under a rock.
Contrast this with what can happen when you’re part of an effective, collaborative team:
- Team members are likely to notice that you might need help well before you’re ready to ask for it
- Team members are in a position to offer help – including help to find an expert
- You know about the expertise of your team members, and about what they enjoy doing, so asking for their expert help becomes an invitation to win-win
- When you ask for help, you will get a response. Silence – the worst case scenario – isn’t an option.
No wonder that collaborative teams, when they work well, produce more than the sum of their parts!
- What’s your view? Please comment below.
- Want to know more about Collaboration Dynamics – and try it for yourself? Click here