Coaching rule # 1: asking for help

on ascolto, BLOG, success, development 1 Feb, 2017

Coaching rule # 1: asking for help

During my coaching sessions, it always strikes me to see how a situation can be unblocked with the simple question "who can help you?". The wonder of the coachee to the question and his relief following the answer are the symptoms of a generalized resistance to the request for help, often seen as a sign of weakness, surrender, inadequacy, poor preparation. On the other hand, we're grown up with proverbs like "no-one is served better than by himself", aren't we?

Therefore, even when it's clear that alone we won't succeed and that we need help or external support, we often wait, as if magically someone could intervene, taking our unspoken request.

Likewise, also the opposite question ("Do you need help?") is rarely asked. It's absolutely neutral and polite, but, because of our heritage and prejudice, is often charged with blocking meanings: the person can think that I judge him as unable, it's better not to hurt him, to avoid... So, even the request to provide aid remains most times unspoken, except in cases of great closeness, as with a good friend, a family member or an assistant.

I repeat: if you want help or want to provide it, you have to ask and risk.

But the fear that they'll answer "no" is huge: we tend to assume that others don't want to help us, and sometimes even that they aren't able to do so. We're still talking about predictions: if you don't try, you will never know how it will end, and the only solution is to act. To act at home, as well as in the office: is it better to ask for help or to get stressed, exhausted, late, possibly without respecting the priorities? What you'll risk, at worst, is a simple "no".

I want to stress the fact that only by asking and offering help, we can create a climate of collaboration, respect, trust, altruism and solidarity, recognizing the right value to the exchange: asking for help is, in fact, a sign of confidence in others' abilities and implicitly opens a positive credit of a future aid in return. What I say is confirmed by research and statistics on the benefits of a climate of support in the office and at home, and even on the kids' speed of learning and growth.

Help means doing something to ease the other's task, bringing him closer to his goal, supporting him; nothing more positive, then. If we can introject this truth, our behaviour will change and our life will be easier and more useful.

To conclude: at work the sports metaphors are very common. In a football team, when a player enters at halftime, he goes to support another player that the coach judges distressed, tired, too much attacked by opponents or in need of rest, to make well at the next match. Helping each other is part of the significance itself of the team.

Coming to you: who can help you, right now?

If helped, how far you can push? How can you make more ambitious your goals?






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