Whenever I am delivering a keynote, a training, a workshop or a retreat I always ask my audience within the first 10 minutes, do you ask for support?

This past year I have experienced some very interesting audience responses. More about that later.

The typical group response when I ask for a show of hands to the question… are you happy to support others? is always 95 % to 100% of participants.

However, when I ask, do you ask for support? The response is constantly 5% to 10%.

Asking for help increases resilience. While many people feel asking for help is a sign of weakness, it’s just a mindset of insecurity and self- judgement.

The person who possess emotional resilience knows that they accept their own strengths and limitations. They understand that while having self-confidence, they realise that they don’t necessarily know everything there is to know and aren’t afraid to admit this. Asking for help decreases the secretion of cortisol and increases the secretion of ‘happy hormones’, which in turn decreases the person’s level of distress.

Asking for help can be really difficult, especially if you feel stressed or confused. Getting the support, you need during tough times can help you get through the situation, give you strategies to deal with the situation and give you some perspective.

Alina Tugend in the New York Times writing on Why Is Asking for Help So Difficult? shares there are many reasons people fear requesting assistance, primary among them not wanting to seem weak, needy or incompetent.

Nora Klaver, whose book “May Day! Asking for Help in Times of Need” (Berrett-Kohler Publishers) says learning to ask for help is not just good for altruistic reasons; it makes business sense.

“People often believe they don’t have trouble asking for help, when they do,” she said. “Sometimes they sit on projects for weeks because they didn’t want to ask for help.”


This Weeks Video…

5 Habits for Developing Emotional Resilience


In an article in Stanford Business, Francis Flynn

wrote … if you want something, ASK for it.  Flynn shares that the results of a study show that we dramatically underestimate how likely others are to help us.

For many of us, the thought of asking someone for help or a favour — be it a colleague, friend, or stranger — is fraught with discomfort. We figure we’re imposing or tend to assume the person will say no, which could leave us embarrassed or humiliated.

But new research verifies the old adage, “Ask and you shall receive.” A series of studies reveals that people tend to grossly underestimate how likely others are to agree to requests for assistance.

Stanford researchers found that participants consistently overestimated by 50 percent the number of people they’d have to ask to get a certain number to agree with each request. “Participants were initially horrified at the prospect of going out and asking people for such things,” the researches said. “But they’d bound back in to the lab afterward with big smiles, saying, ‘I can’t believe how nice people were!’”

Benefits of Asking for Help

  • Feeling less stressed
  • Relief about sharing your thoughts/feelings
  • Finding strategies and ways to cope
  • Gaining some perspective
  • Reducing your sense of loneliness
  • Building stronger relationships with friends and family
  • Prevent problems getting bigger
  • Can learn to help others
  • Decreases the secretion of cortisol
  • Increases the secretion of ‘happy hormones’

We all go through tough times and sometimes can’t solve problems by ourselves. It is courageous to recognise and ask for help if you need it for any sort of problem.

Back to my initial question, do you ask for support?

I was blown over on Thursday afternoon November 8th when I asked this question of a mixed group of attendees at our two-hour introductory GRIT program sponsored by the Institute of MANAGERS AND LEADERS in the ‘big end’ of town in Brisbane.

100% of the attendees raised their hands… yes, I am happy to ASK for SUPPORT!

In managing personal stress and building emotional resilience, one of the key elements is, to ask for support.

The Stress Management Institute® conducts training for those individuals who wish to become qualified in stress management and emotional resilience. We invite you to enrol into the Institutes’ 5-day in-class or 6 months online short course, the Emotional Resilience Advocate. This exciting new training is offered at Proficiency level,with extensions to Facilitator and Practitioner levels.We invite you to embark on one of these exciting career courses for supporting people who are struggling to cope with stress. If you are looking for a career change, or you wish to add a Stress Management and Emotional Resilience specialty to your current career, please call us on +61 1 300 663 979 or email info@stressmanagementinstitute.org

The first in-class training for 2019 is Monday 18th February to Friday 22nd February in Brisbane, QLD.

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