The art of asking

Asking for help. How hard can it be? At times, it can seem waaaaaay too hard.

In her fabulous book, The Art of Asking: How I learned to Stop Worrying and let People Help, Amanda Palmer describes how the reluctance to ask for help stifles great work, connection and collaboration.

American culture in particular has instilled in us the bizarre notion that to ask for help amounts to an admission of failure. But some of the most powerful, successful, admired people in the world seem, to me, to have something in common: they ask constantly, creatively, compassionately, and gracefully… it is the fear of the no that keeps so many of our mouths sewn tightly shut.” 

The fear of the no. Of rejection, humiliation and embarrassment. She also describes another paralysing worry –  the fear of the yes and a hidden price tag of indebtedness.

Those who learn to tame their fears and ask anyway have an extraordinary advantage. They tap into the wisdom and networks of others, are more trusted and have better relationships.

Most people love to help and are happy to have an opportunity to lend a hand. Giver and receiver are grateful. Who would have thought it?!?

CEO and four-time TED speaker Margaret Heffernan goes further. In Forget the Pecking Order at Work, she says that the most effective teams and organisations have a culture of helpfulness. People are willing to ask for help, provide help and receive help.

My book Swipe Right on Your Best Self: Simple steps to a bolder life with fewer regrets describes how to develop courage to do more of what’s personally important and challenging. This includes asking for help, giving help and receiving help.

Now I’d like to ask YOU for help.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is delivering pro bono talks to charities and other worthy groups about managing our minds to do our most courageous work together.

Do you know of a group that might benefit? Please put them in touch. Thanks! 🤗

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