Two Tips to Feel Better About Asking for Help

Julie Shenkman
Posted by in Administrative & Clerical Services

Administrative assistants juggle many different tasks throughout the day. Asking for help can seem like it places you in a bad position, but you shouldn't feel bad when you need to seek assistance from others in your place of business. Everyone needs help from time to time, and asking for help can help you maintain efficiency in your workplace and keep everything running smoothly. Whether you're coordinating requests from employees with human resources or helping executives manage their own busy schedules, it's never a bad idea to seek assistance when you really need it.

The first big tip is to break free of the second-guessing paradigm and simply speak up. You should strive to ensure that you make use of all resources available to you before asking others to take time out of their schedules to assist, but once you know you need help, go ahead and request it. Even entrepreneurs need help, and asking for help with your administrative tasks before they get out of hand can keep issues to a minimum in the future. Second-guessing yourself only wastes valuable time and resources that could be applied to the tasks at hand.

Another tip that can help you feel better about asking for help is to be careful with your phrasing. Everyone has busy schedules at certain times of the year, and phrasing your request as a series of options instead of pleading for generic assistance can help others see how and why your need exists. For instance, outlining your duties and asking for help prioritizing them so that you can fit in any additional requests can help your boss easily see the extent to which you are burdened. Giving those you work with a series of options, often a list of which jobs you should put off to accommodate specific tasks if no assistance is given, can help streamline the request.

Knowing how to ask for help is only part of the solution. Administrative assistants can prevent becoming overwhelmed by working efficiently and being ready to refuse or postpone tasks that stop them from accomplishing key business operations. Once you know how to ask for help, you also need to learn how to say no. The tips of offering options and speaking up also apply to this key part of your assistant position. Before you accept new work, determine how it will fit into your schedule and ask for assistance or a chance to postpone the task if it doesn't work with your current workload.

Asking for help is rarely easy. Many view it as a sign of weakness or lack of knowledge, but everyone has the same number of hours in a day and most workers understand the limits this creates. Remember to avoid second-guessing and use careful phrasing when asking for help. These tips can help ensure you don't waste crucial time and that your request is viewed favorably by others as well as making you feel better about seeking assistance from others.



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