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Why Accepting Help Works In Business

Aug 17, 2007
When you're where the buck stops, it's easy to regard help as something you can't accept.

Especially when offered.

Let me share a story. A famous radio presenter in the UK, Roger Royle, once told this anecdote about 'saying no'.

During the war, as with many English children living in London, he was evacuated into the country.

There, for the first time he was introduced to the luxuries that escape the attention of city-dwellers, yet are common-place to those who live 'in the sticks'.

At the very first evening meal, he was amazed by the variety of home produced food and seriously tucked into his dinner. At the end, everyone was provided with a substantial piece of apple pie and offered thick dollops of cream from a jug.

Roger declined the cream. Being from the city, he had never seen it before and 'said no', because it was something he didn't know about.

His story goes on to tell us that he was never offered cream in the three years he stayed there.

Back in the business, it's really important to understand that a manager is not an island. Accepting help from others is not just a valid way to make life much easier for you, it binds you into a 'community' of workers, which is your team.

And one of the key things you can do to enhance that is to say 'yes' where appropriate, to those who offer you help.

If you have already said 'No, I'm OK' or 'That's fine, leave it to me', too often, your people will need gentle encouragement to ask you now.

A precedent has been set and you will need to work to overcome what you have already, probably unwittingly, set as your 'style'.

The easy way is to ask for help, using the phrase, 'I need your help' as part of the request.

Asking, in this way, really digs into their emotions and, like most people, a request for help stimulates a trigger where we hear the appeal and provide the help needed.

Your people realize much more that you are a real human - you are not that amazing individual that not only gets everything right, but needs no help on earth and is perfect in every way - in fact you are almost normal!

You become one of then; one of the team.Then they start to open up to you, asking not only for help in specific tasks, but also about what they need, what their hopes and aspirations are and, of course, how you can help them.

The business world is chock full of millions of individuals who have different needs.

Ensuring that you are open enough to ask them when you need help, will bind you to them, them to you and them to each other, making the sum equal far more than the parts.

Then you truly can have the cream in your business relationships - and it will, I promise you, taste really good!
About the Author
2005-6 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com
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