When We Ask

I like to joke that I get help for everything.

I see a therapist, a coach, a trainer.

My life is better because of their help.

It’s the beauty of getting older. I no longer need to be the best at everything or do it alone.

All of the above are hired help. Every day, life gets better yet when we invite un-hired guidance.

The moment we ask, collaborative energy gets released. Collaborative good will kicks into motion. Helping energy accelerates success. Ours – and that of the person we ask.

We don’t need to know how it works. It just does.

My friend Marge is 76 years old and one of the smartest people I know. Marge asks for help all the time.

Yes, you guessed right. Marge is pretty darn successful.

I am in the middle of selling a new book. I wouldn’t dream of sending my writing to an agent without having it reviewed first by a kick-ass editor.

My writing is better because an editor reviewed it. My work is more successful because of it.

Deep, deep down, everyone wants to help. Even the grumpy person. The too-busy person and the I-act-like-I-don’t-care person. And even if he is too distracted to actually be of help, he is honored by the request.

I know not to ask just anyone. These are my two very simple ask principles:

–       Know who to ask. Only ask folks who excel in the area in which you seek help. Only ask folks who you believe sincerely have your best interest at heart. All other help may be well-intentioned but muddle the success of the task at hand.

–       Know what to ask for. When asking for help, help the person you ask by giving her a bit of context. I am looking to make this speech more conversational. Would you please let me know if it sounds conversational enough? What else could I do to make it more conversational?

Follow these two simple principles, and here are your rewards:

 When we ask, we make more informed decisions.

When we ask, we improve the quality of our work.

When we ask, work gets easier.

A lot easier.

As you go about your work this week, consider these questions:

Do I ask for help? Do I ask often enough? Do I have people I trust to help me? Do I know what to ask for?

And in case of doubt, ask!