Career Coach: Too Independent
As Bob Berg and John David Mann observe in their book, The Go-Giver, "Every giving can happen only because it is also a receiving." For you to give, someone else has to receive. "All the giving in the world won't bring success, unless you also make yourself willing and able to receive. If you don't let yourself receive, you're refusing the gifts of others." Be open to receiving help and the gifts of others. Berg and Mann write, "The secret to success is to give, give, give. The secret to getting is giving. And the secret to giving is making yourself open to receiving."
Recently I realized where I learned to avoid asking for help. My mother never asked anyone for help. When I was a kid she hired an occasional babysitter so she and my father could go out together, but that was as far as it went. She never asked us to help with chores around the house. She didn't believe children should do chores. When I was a teenager, my mother once got angry and told us that she was tired of doing everything. I created a chart listing the chores I thought might be required and we three kids assigned tasks to each other. I think our helping out lasted less than a week. My mom denied herself our help, and prevented us from giving her an important gift.
When I visit my mother-in-law, I attempt to wash the dishes but she stops me because she has a certain way of doing it. When you don't allow someone to help you, you are sending that person a message that you don't trust him or her with the task or feel you can do it better. People will stop offering help if you constantly refuse it.
I am resolved that I will allow others to help me -- whether it's offering to help me wash dishes, or to show me how to build a web site using Wordpress or teaching me about marketing. I will ask for help, or hire someone, because I know that others have special skills and talents to tap into and that helping is a sign of love. And we need more of that in the world. Asking for help can strengthen relationships and lead to new friendships.
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is learning that asking for help is okay and not a sign of weakness or incompetency. She is finally able to admit that she can't do everything. For career coaching, recruiting, writing and speaking, you can reach her at PamRecruit@q.com.