It can be hard to ask for help.
We have been programmed to believe that strength is individual, that asking for help is a sign of weakness.
This mentality, however, deprives us of the power that can come from working together, instead of alone.
At Reach Partners, we have observed that good leaders recognize that they can’t do everything alone.
We’ve seen that the best leaders take that one step further; they know how to ask for exactly what they need while empowering others to contribute.
Here’s how that played out recently:
One of our clients sent out a group text at 9 p.m. one day. She had a problem to solve and reached out to a few people she determined could help her. I was one of the five people.
I knew some of the others on the group chat, but not all. With that late-hour text message, our client removed some common barriers to fast, effective brainstorming: coordinating schedules and job titles.
She briefly described the issue and provided some context and a few boundaries around possible solutions. She then gave us this kernel of wisdom: “many brains with skills and ideas are better than one.”
I have a love-and-hate relationship with group texts, but I was thrilled when my phone started dinging. Ideas were quickly generated. People added to each other’s ideas, and brainstorming was in full swing.
By 8 a.m. the next morning, the client had figured out a plan. The group had helped to shape the plan, and she went to make the arrangements to make it happen.
This is a beautiful example of how we are better together. She gathered a group of trusted individuals and posed specific questions. She also provided a list of resources available and straightforward parameters. As a result, she received several solid solutions.
At Reach Partners, we see life and work as “and/both,” not either or, not this versus that. There is always more than one path forward. Even if there are constraints we need to work with, like a budget or a specific deadline, we don’t view that as negative or limitations but welcome the definition under which we get to work and solve problems.
Our client understood this. She could’ve figured out a solution to a problem herself, but she opted to be vulnerable. She was open to connecting with others and was honest about asking for help. And, I also know that her plan was made better and stronger with input from others.
That’s a good lesson for all of us to follow!
Your partners in leadership.