To this very day, I vividly remember the moment I kicked a team member in the head. Now before you judge, it was an accident! But it also taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.
We were engaged in a team-building activity where the goal was to get the eight of us from one side of a tire to the other, by physically going through the center of it. The catch was that the tire hung suspended seven feet above the ground.
We did a little strategizing about how to successfully accomplish the task and decided to have the tallest person act as a step stool for the others. We also made sure to get the second tallest through first, so they could assist folks coming down the other side of the tire.
I distinctly recall thinking that I wouldn’t need help jumping down to the other side. Yes, at a team-building exercise- so please, enjoy the irony! Anyway, there I was, seven feet above the ground, and as I swung my legs to launch myself down (before anyone could help), I clocked a friend in the head with my shoe, barely landing the jump down.
My reckless and selfish choice had a cost. Since I felt I could do it alone, I did it alone. All the while, the support of others standing ready by my side went untapped. And worse, they absorbed the brunt of my action.
We’ve all had a project or responsibility grow into something more than anticipated. Are you someone who asks for help? If not, do you at least accept help when it’s offered? Or do you toss out the “thanks, I’ll let you know,” response, fully aware that you have no intention of reaching out?
Why is asking for or receiving help so uncomfortable? If you’re cringing and would rather fling yourself through a seven-foot-high tire, just consider the cost. As Brene Brown says, “vulnerability is not weakness, it’s our most accurate measure of courage.” Few of us enjoy being uncomfortable, getting out of our comfort zone or perhaps just saying ‘yes.’
Summon up some courage and try these ideas when asking for help:
- Start Small.
- Ask for help by way of a compliment – ‘I’ve always enjoyed your writing. Would you mind assisting me with this writing project?’
- Take 5 deep breaths before the ask.
- Track the ask!
Go be gutsy, take on some support and watch what happens. You just might experience fresh results, declined stress levels and happier hearts of those you love most because nobody ends up getting kicked in the head.
We’re cheering you on over here!
Author – Jennifer Bried
InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, we offer top-rated learning programs based on four defined conditions that must exist for individuals, teams including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Our integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, we’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent, and energy to produce results that matter most.
We’ve defined four conditions that must exist for an individual, team, or organization to be effective within the arena of performance and development; Accountability, Focus, Alignment, and Integrity. We’ll continue to explore these and more in our blog and look forward to your engagement and interaction with us. Stay tuned as we engage the edges.