Tuesday, January 26, 2010

3 Steps for Asking for Help without Looking Stupid

Not only for managers!

Management Tip of the Day - January 26, 2010 - Harvard Business Review: Too often managers make mistakes because they are afraid to ask for help. Not knowing how to do something may be embarrassing, but not asking for help can lead to disastrous results. Next time you are faced with something you are uncertain about, use these three steps to ask your colleague, manager, or peer for assistance:

1. Start with what you know. Begin your request for help with context and background about the situation so that the other person knows what you know.

2. Ask for feedback on a proposed direction. Just because you are uncertain doesn't mean you can't form an opinion. Explain what you are thinking of doing and ask for input and direction.

3. Ask for tangible advice. If you are still unsure about what direction to take, be direct with the other person. Ask for the tools you need to make a decision or for a referral to someone who has been in a similar situation.