But there’s a difference between asking for help and being helpless. People who ask for help are looking to solve a problem, while helpless people want someone to do a task for them so they don’t have to do it. But having people do your work for you means you won’t learn anything! Here’s the right way to ask for help. So you won’t end up helpless. This comes from Oprah’s ‘O’ Magazine.
First: Frame your problem as a ‘how’ question. Instead of blurting out ‘I need someone to fix my computer!’ ask someone ‘How should I go about fixing my computer?’ Asking ‘how’ means you’re a capable person who wants to learn how to fix a problem – you’re asking ‘how’ so you can do it on your own next time.
Next: Do your research. If your computer crashes at work, don’t wait for the IT guy to come rushing over. Instead, look up a computer repair website, or call a tech support hotline. That way, you can spout off a list of possible solutions once the IT guy gets there.
The next step in asking for help: Learn the lesson. When someone helps you, don’t just space out while they fix the problem. Instead, watch what they’re doing so you can remedy the situation yourself next time. Remember: if you ask for a fish, you’ll eat for a day, but if you learn how to fish, you’ll eat for a lifetime.
And finally: Pay it forward. Now that someone has taught you how to fix something, use your new skills to help someone else. That way, you can make the transition from needing help to being helpful.