What Will Successful Asking Look Like?

Using a "succession of steps" approach will make asking for assistance/help easier and more effective.

Climbing "asking steps" can be very helpful - not only because you're going to develop "asking" skills, but also because it will provide a way to take on and accomplish those skills, one at a time. It's important to remember, whenever you're tackling a project, pat yourself on the back and smile as you move towards your success, rather than seeing you're only worthy of an "atta-boy" when everything is completed. We support the idea that gaining new skills and reaching for new goals is hard work, and always worthy of gratification - as opposed to delayed gratification - delayed for what?

In learning to ask easier and more natural, STEP 1 asks you to DEFINE WHAT"S GOING ON. This means looking at the situation you're in, or the problem you face, or the needs you have - which could benefit from building a team.

This step usually takes some research, some questioning, and some diligence on your part. You know what you're facing, and defining and conveying that to others is an important part of the task.

NOW, before moving ahead, add one thing! Right from the beginning, it's important to ask yourself (or the one you're helping): What would an ideal outcome be? What Will Success Look Like? How would it feel?

Let's look at the concept of success. The noted psychologist and academic, Abraham Maslow, helped us see that success will look somewhat different for each of use - since there are no universal goals. However, success does have some common threads. A long term success is really about feeling you belong, that you are noticed, and that what you're doing is good for both you and the people around you. Even though this vision is particular to each person, having it in mind helps you to know when it arrives. 

Without a vision, you will find yourself looped into reactive behaviors, projects that start and stop, goals that are seldom completed. Sometimes it can feel even a bit disconnected. It sounds a bit redundant, but basically, you're not successful without a vision, and you need a vision to know success. Which means that success looks like you and the vision you seek! 

So let's return to the "task of asking" and visit an example we've used before: you're having knee replacement surgery. 

Step 1: define what's going on. Through some research, questioning, and diligence on your part, you learn all you can about what will be happening and when. What kinds of help will be needed? For how long will it be needed? Are there others who can give information related to the experience and possible outcomes to be better prepared to get the help needed?

Then, Step 1A: What will success look like? What is the vision of this being successful? Is it a short term goal? Or long? Practical or philosophical. The vision you create and convey to yourself will determine your success. 

If you see the "task of asking" as a major struggle, then it will be reflected in your vision, and success will be hard to achieve or, at the very least, difficult. But if you see the "task of asking" as more of a series of tasks you are willing to tackle and conquer - then your vision will be of a group working together to accomplish your goals - and whenever you work with or get help from this group, you'll feel successful. 

It's tempting to say, "I've got an upcoming surgery (or needs, or tasks, or problems, etc.) to worry about, so how can I worry about, or get involved in the task of asking others for help. Or to spend time on thinking about my vision" But these go hand-in-hand! The vision of success (the completion of your goal/need fulfilled/surgery completed) won't happen by itself. 

Most success is the result of a "team effort" and today is your time to begin to build you team. Be ready!

When your challenges and changes arise, first ask yourself what your vision of success will look like, and then use your skills and your team to make your vision come true. 

Remember - whenever you're tackling a project, pat yourself on the back and smile as you move towards your success. Celebrate along the way. It's a given that gaining new skills and reaching for new goals is hard work! So get started - you'll deserve some kudos!