It seems asking for help has fallen out of style. It is a badge of honor - being strong, going it alone. This code is nowhere more evident than among ISOs and merchant level salespeople - the cowboys of the industry - where individual achievement is prized and rewarded. After all, do the movie stars ever ask for help in those old westerns?
But we all need help from time to time. Unwillingness to seek help can limit your ability to accomplish your goals. It can also isolate you and set you up for disaster. You can probably remember instances in which things would have gone better if you'd only asked for help. Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?
So, why is it so hard to ask for help? Following are four possible reasons.
Pride is not a bad thing in its proper place. Sometimes, however, it can get in your way. If you can't bring yourself to ask your ISO's top closer for advice on how to sell more effectively because you can't admit someone is a better seller than you, then your pride is a problem.
Embarrassment goes hand in hand with pride. If you're worried what your boss, colleagues or friends might think if you ask for help, you have a stumbling block in your path to success. Many people are so concerned with their image that they avoid doing anything that might make them appear foolish, inept or weak. Asking for help is not evidence of any of these things. The real weakness is being fearful about what others think of you.
Will a colleague follow through if you ask for help? If you ask for a favor, will he or she do it right? If these fears sound familiar, then it's likely you don't trust others. Perhaps people have let you down before. And chances are they probably will disappoint you again. So surround yourself with people you can trust. No one succeeds alone, and expecting the worst from people is counterproductive. Sooner or later you have to put a little faith in your fellow man (or woman).
For many, the hardest part about asking someone for help is letting go. This is especially true of type A personalities. You want to make sure the project goes exactly as you think it should, down to the last detail, even if there may be a better way to market a product or sell a service.
But you don't want to risk losing control by asking for a colleague's opinion or for an alternate - perhaps even better - solution. Now that's a problem.
If you can recognize these tendencies in yourself and work to change them, the rewards will be many. Here are a few possible outcomes:
Begin today to swallow your pride, risk embarrassment, dare to trust and relinquish control. With the help of others, you'll go far.
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