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Chapter 8. The Learning Hand > SUCCESS CARD 36: Ask for Help

SUCCESS CARD 36: Ask for Help

Asking for help is actually a sign of healthy self-esteem. If you seek help in the form of feedback, you become not only more aware but also more confident because you get answers and advice. People find you easier to work with because they learn that they can give you help in the form of constructive criticism without fear. Tell yourself that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. People who help each other naturally feel more camaraderie. At work, you could find that comraderie pays off in company loyalty. A study by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania showed that firms with high levels of closely connected employees are more inclined to retrain their employees rather than hire new ones. Why? With good teamwork, employees know what to ask each other and are aware of each other's strengths and challenges. Advertising agencies, medical offices, and construction companies are typical types of companies that rely heavily on this type of information sharing. It's clear that open, communicative relationships are valuable; they make it easier for your organization to keep you.

A women's publishing association conference featured a panel of female publishing executives. In the question-and-answer session afterward, the panel addressed many standard questions about how to get started in a publishing career. Then one young student asked, “Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?” An officer of one of America's largest publishing houses answered first: “I would have asked more questions. I think at work people are afraid to ask questions, when, really, most of us are quite willing to answer. I would have asked, Why do you do it this way? Or Have you considered this? That's what I would have done differently.”


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