Why It’s So Difficult to Ask for Help, and 8 Ways to Do It Better 54

Why It’s So Difficult to Ask for Help, and 8 Ways to Do It Better

Most people think it’s weak to ask for help. They prefer to do things on their own, even if they don’t have the expertise or necessary information to do it right.

This behavior might start in childhood, and you might be showing the same signs as an adult. Refusing to ask for help at school, work, home, or with other things you’re trying to do with your life, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Turns out it’s exactly the opposite.

Asking for help is what successful people, leaders and those living a good life learned how to do early on. It’s actually a sign of strength.

Why Asking for Help is Important

For a start, when you don’t ask for help, you don’t provide others with the opportunity to contribute in any way they can.

You’re also living in that illusion of independence, and are actually missing out on getting the job done right. Be it to ask for a pen when you can’t find yours and need to fill a document. Or to ask for directions in a new city. It could also be to let your mother give you advice on how to take care of your newborn, let a financial expert manage your money well, or trust a specialist on what new piece of technology to buy.

When you don’t ask for help, you’re trying to be in control of everything. But life itself finds a way to teach you that there are many things out of your control. It’s important to accept that in order to move on.

Asking for help is a great ability. Once you start doing it, you understand the importance of working in a team. Even when that’s the hairdresser whose opinion you’re trusting, or the self-help guru telling you what first step to take to change your habits.

It’s natural to need help, and to allow others to give it to you.

That’s how you work on dropping your ego. Also, you let go of control and great expectations the moment you accept the fact that you need help and ask for it.

Last but not least, what asking for help might lead to may astound you. If you’re thinking of moving to a better place or want to find a new job, for instance, asking here and there can turn into something great. You never know where the next opportunity is hiding. And you’ll be the one to grab it and make the most of it, but it won’t show up unless you ask others and see if they can be of any help.

One of the reasons people consider asking for help difficult, is that they fear the consequences, such as what they might need to give in return in the future. However, that’s because you don’t know how to do it right.

Truth is, we don’t know how to ask for help the right way. Here are a few tips to get better at this:

How to Learn to Ask for Help

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1. Start small.

Probably your ego won’t allow you to start big even if you’re in need. So begin with easy things, like:

  • Ask a friend for advice;
  • Ask an employee in the store when something isn’t clear about a product or you can’t find what you need;
  • When shopping, ask the sales person what they think;
  • When you’re about to book a holiday, want to sign up for a gym membership or are looking for a new movie to watch, ask colleagues for recommendations and actually listen to them.

2. Remember it’s good for the other person too.

Ask for help, let somebody do what they can, and be sure you’ll make their day. Helping others is even referred to as the secret to happiness.

3. Be direct.

The easiest way is to simply ask for what you need.

4. Be okay with rejection.

Yes, not everyone can or is ready to help you. And that’s okay. Learning how to accept rejection is another great skill to learn in life.

5. Seek new perspectives.

Look at this as an opportunity to expand your horizons. What others will share with you or do for you will be completely different from what you had in mind. It might lead to new ideas or ways to do things that will solve a problem you’ve been struggling with. Just ask for help.

6. Find a mentor.

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If you like the result with the first small steps, and see it helps you move forward, you might even think about finding a mentor or giving life coaching a try.

7. Overcome the initial fear.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Others don’t need to know about it. You might feel guilty to ask for help, or you might be afraid others will call you weak. But none of that matters. You’re looking to get out of a situation or achieve a result, and that won’t happen if you don’t let someone else get involved.

8. Get help for the serious stuff too.

Last but not least, admit it when you have a problem and let a consultant or a specialist do their job.

If you’re about to end a relationship or are even thinking about a divorce, give couple therapy a try.

If you start relying on alcohol, overeating, or else too much after a traumatic event, go to a specialist and dig deeper into the problem to find a way out before it’s too late.

If you need to beat a criminal charge, talk to a defense lawyer from German Legal.

In such cases, asking for help can save a life. In less serious situations, it will make your life easier.

Now you know why you should ask for help and how to do it right.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 3

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

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Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.