By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on October 24, 2019
Filed under: Business Development, Communications

Making it safe to ask for help

The other day, I was walking down the street, and a stranger stopped me to ask me if his tie was on correctly.

He was about to go perform a wedding ceremony for his niece and wanted to make sure he looked the part.

It was one of those strange but funny moments in life. As I was standing on the street helping this gentleman button the top button underneath his tie, it had me thinking about how, when we ask for help, there is a certain level of vulnerability.

If someone is scared or intimidated to ask for help, they might make mistakes as a result. This is why in a workplace, it’s important that we create an environment where people are comfortable asking for help. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Set the example. Don’t be afraid to not “have all the answers.” Show your own vulnerability by asking for help when you need it.
  • Share examples through story. Tell your team about times that you didn’t know the answer and asked for help. 
  • Anticipate challenges. Be aware of situations that can present challenges, and put systems in place for support. Sometimes, you can provide help by anticipating challenges in advance.
  • Be open to learning. Be open to everything you don’t know. This encourages the rest of your team to be open to learning as well. 

I also try to recognize the intuitive nudges that happen periodically. Sometimes people ask for help and other times, I follow my own intuitive nudges to give people the support I know they’ll need.

Everything is a work in progress, and when we create an environment that celebrates learning, we can all grow together. 

How do you create this environment in your workplace? Share in the comments down below!

‘Til next time,
Sandy

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