The Stigma of Asking for Help

Asking for help requires a healthy dose of maturity and emotional intelligence. In her article in the New York Times seven years ago, Alina Tugend, award-winning columnist and author of the book Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong, wrote about why it is so difficult to ask for help. I can hear many of you in leadership positions saying, “Oh that’s not hard, after all I ask for help from my direct reports all the time.” But there is a difference between asking for help and delegating tasks to your direct reports. The difference is your vulnerability. If the person you ask to help is in your chain of command, there is little or no likelihood of a refusal and therefore no vulnerability on your part.  No one expects a leader to know everything, least of all do everything, but the stigma of seeking expertise from outside your organization may cause some to stick with the usual suspects.

What is worse, the stigma or a bad decision?

 

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