Seeking Help from Colleagues without Annoying Them
Seeking help at work can be difficult as you may be perceived as lazy. Here are some of the best ways to ask for help from colleagues without annoying them.
Asking for help from colleagues can be an issue, especially if they start to become irritated by it.
The ongoing pandemic has meant that many people are working from home. This can make you feel disconnected from co-workers.
The matter is made worse as you may feel unsure about how to ask for help without being seen as incompetent or lazy.
Many people avoid asking as they don’t know how it will be perceived.
Cory Collins, President and CEO of Ample Opportunity, said:
“In many cases, people are reluctant to ask for help at work because their employer simply does not encourage it.”
But it does not have to be that way. Here are a few ways to increase your chances of getting help when you need it, without having your colleagues resent you.
Helping others does a lot for building goodwill.
James Clift, CEO of VisualCV, said: “Being open to helping others is a key to career success.
“It shows that you care about the team around you.”
It also helps maintain your reputation for competence. If you regularly offer to help others, your request for help won’t undermine their confidence in you.
He adds: “Having that reputation helps others be aware that if you are asking a question, it is because you want to do your job the right way, not because you are unqualified.”
Solves Problems by Yourself
When you encounter a problem, try to solve it before asking for help.
It is recommended to come up with three potential solutions and trying them on your own.
If those approaches fail, present your colleagues with the problem and solutions when you ask for help.
This keeps your helper from wasting time on things you already know didn’t work and keeps you from coming across as lazy.
Stay Engaged with Helpers
It is important to stay engaged with the person helping you while they are trying to solve the problem.
Watch what they are doing, ask questions and take notes.
By paying close attention to how your colleague handles the problem you should be able to get through the same issue in the future.
By doing this, you will not need to ask for help with the same issue.
Be Precise when Asking for Help
If you ask a colleague a vague question, it may appear that you have a problem with the whole project.
For example, if there are 27 steps in the project and you are stuck on step 14, specifically ask your colleague for help on that item, not the whole thing.
Geoff Scott, career advisor and resume expert with Resume Companion, said:
“Asking specific questions about your problem helps show your colleague that you’re totally engaged and actively trying to resolve the issue alongside them.”
“Once you get the precise help you need, be ready to take back over immediately, it’s your project and your colleague has other things on their plate.”
Subtly Ask for Help, Praise Loudly
If you need help, it is best to do it subtly. If you tell everyone that you’re stuck, you could be seen as a complainer.
You do not want to come across as someone who spends more time complaining rather than getting their work done.
It is recommended to pick one or two colleagues you think are the best resources rather than asking a lot of co-workers.
This reduces the chance of too many people forming a negative opinion about you.
But once you get the help you need, openly praise your colleague with their supervisor. Your colleague will get credit and you will appear confident in your ability to praise others for helping you.
Have a Solid Resource
Not everyone has all the answers but some get to them quicker than others.
It is good to have at least one online resource to help make life easier. That goes for dealings at your current job, as well as your career.
These tips on asking for help will avoid any resentment from colleagues and will take any stress out of your job.