Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Before you ask, the answer is always no

The scariest part about asking for help is, we risk sharing something that most people don’t want to share. 

That we’re struggling. 

That’s why asking for help makes us feel exposed. Because we’re opening up our deepest desires to the world’s scrutiny, rejection, disappointment and, worst of all, indifference. 

But as terrifying as it is to swallow our pride, extend our arm, lay down our mask and surrender into the gut churning surge of vulnerability, it’s always worth it. 

Because once we push through to the other side, something extraordinary happens. 

People are delighted to hear from us. They’re honored that we asked for their help. They’re inspired by our level of clarity and courage about what we really want. And in most cases, they’re happy to help in whatever way that they can.

It’s like my college professor used to say:

Friends want you to call on them. They want you to darken their doorstep in the middle of the night with your heart in your hands. Nothing would bring them more satisfaction than the opportunity to be there for you. It’s in the job description. That’s what friends do. If they didn’t want to help, they wouldn’t be your friend. 

Perhaps you’re looking for new career opportunities. You might begin by reaching out to let people know the kind of value you’ve provided for clients in the past with the hope that it might be useful to someone they know. 

In this situation, however, it’s not quite enough to simply ask friends and colleagues who they know that they would recommend you contact. It’s also critical to have the empathy to ask them what role they would be willing to play in connecting you, have the graciousness to follow up in a way that shows you appreciate their efforts, show the forethought to anticipate their potential level of involvement, and have the astuteness take measures to minimize any inconvenience and awkwardness during the conversation.  

Instead of creating the mental impression that they can’t help us, we believe that we’re a welcome presence. Instead assuming it’s an imposition on the person we’re asking, we believe that we possess tremendous value that we’d be remiss not to offer. 

And instead of thinking that our receiving is going to deprive somebody else, we believe that their generosity will be commensurately rewarded. 

Remember, before you ask, the answer is always no. 

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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