Workplace Communication

Ask For Help, Offer Help

It’s Sunday afternoon and my husband has just fallen off a ladder, out of a tree, and onto the ground.

It all started when he went out to trim the trees along our driveway. They’ve gotten pretty tall and the task is more difficult as a result. I offered to help, but he said he didn’t need it. Not long after he went out, he came back into the house to ask me to look at his back to see if there was an obvious injury, because he’d fallen out of the tree and onto his back. Luckily, he was only about 8 feet off the ground. Luckily, he landed on the ground next to the tree instead of on our concrete driveway.

ask for helpWhy is it that so many of us have such a hard time asking for help?

When we know what we’re doing requires support, physical or otherwise.

When we know what we’re doing isn’t safe, or optimal to do alone.

When our instincts tell us that what we’re about to do isn’t going to work out well for us or anyone else.

Only after falling, and narrowly avoiding what could have been a serious injury, did my husband let anyone help him. Even then, he didn’t ask, but help was forced (and threatened) on him. I told him, “If nothing else, we need you around because you’re the only one around here who has a good health insurance plan.”

This week, please do three things for me, for yourself, and for those around you:

1. Don’t wait until you fall out of a tree to acknowledge that you need help. Ask for help when you know you need it!

2. Think about how your actions impact others before you refuse help that’s freely offered. It’s not all about you failing. Your failure could hurt others.

3. Accept help that’s freely offered when you know you need it.

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