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Aug 9, 2022Liked by Admired Leadership

I enjoyed this piece.

As I thought of reasons I might not ask for help, what came to mind is the balance between "solving my own problem independently" and "always asking for help before really exploring possibilities". We've all known the person who did not seem to know how to use the search function on youtube or google. It's fine being needed occasionally, but when it is incessant, you wonder why this person is getting paid. I don't want to be that guy. Is that a common reason people don't ask for help?

Does a culture of "asking for help" ever lead to dependency & lack of initiative?

Also, you mentioned "Why would they refuse to ask for a lifeline when they are clearly drowning?" I wonder how clear it is to a "drowning" worker that he/she has passed the point where the job is just difficult to the point where the job is on the brink of failure?

Finally, it takes time to ask for help. There's the initial request, a summary of the problem, an agreement to listen, a more in depth explanation of the background context etc. It could be seen as a risky use of time when a project is teetering, to stop production and step away to pursue a consultation. Am I alone in this thought or have others observed the same in themselves & coworkers?

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David C Morris has reviewed it well.

If your relationship with your team members is an ongoing conversation, it becomes an easier entry point into any topic when they struggle.

Not to overuse a parental metaphor, but choosing to teach your child to swim is also a choice to watch them struggle in the water. A new swimmer might consider this struggle to be "near drowning." A parent - child relationship that already has trust in it might look have a child who is literally at the verge of drowning who is NOT asking for help... as the entire context of this situation is to struggle through it on their own... while mom and dad watch from a few feet away knowing there is no real mortal danger.

Part of a leader's development is to learn to let people struggle and let people come to their own moment when they ask for help. To let the team member develop at a good pace is to have a keen awareness of letting someone struggle and strengthen themselves, while also knowing the constraints of the project at hand. They can offer timely help without sabotage of the project or of the person's development.

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The parental metaphor was helpful. Thanks. :)

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Yes, I've seen all that you describe. This is a big space, but I like the simplicity of Admired Leadership's advice - Stay connected to your people - pay attention to what is going on. Let them do what they do and step in when you see there is an opportunity to help them do their work in a better, faster, or cheaper way. Re: Asking for help leading to dependency - use Admired Leadership "Throw Problems Back" and "Sometimes Feedback Needs to Echo" to avoid 'giving them the answers' and instead 'teach them how to fish'. Re: Why people don't ask for help? - It's a personality thing - It could be 'too much ego' I don't need help or self-esteem - If I ask for help I'll be thought of as not worthy, etc. Re: It takes time to ask for help - I just think of all the time people waste working on the wrong things, or getting stuck and not asking for help, or worse yet, just giving up and ignoring the work because they don't know how to get to the next step. These are just my opinions of course.

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Aug 10, 2022Liked by Admired Leadership

David, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I guess this highlights why leadership skills get to be developed. Knowing when to apply each of these behaviours might be the very earmark of an AL. 👍🏼

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