How Good Are You At Asking For Help?

72 Thank-You Notes

photo of thank-you note in envelopeAfter months of networking and doing all the right things that a professional does when laid off from a 30-year career, Genevieve hit a low point. During two painfully quiet weeks waiting for the phone to ring, all she felt was discouraged. Then it happened. In a matter of a few days, six invitations for interviews streamed in along with a solid job offer. Marveling at how things could change so quickly, Genevieve was grateful to see the seeds she had planted finally sprouting.

The very first thing she did after accepting an offer was make a list of people to thank. That list had 72 names on it — that’s 72 people who helped her in some way during her job search. As she set to work writing thank-you notes, Genevieve told me she had “writer’s cramp for a great reason”.

Picturing Genevieve writing all those notes got me thinking about my own list of people who —just within these past two weeks— have helped me in some way with my current project of designing a brand new website:

  1. Chris Buffaloe is helping me create a slideshow and companion workbook.
  2. Beth Danica and Lisa Micklin provide editorial input, ezine administration, and website design.
  3. Jackie Haywood gives me guidance and feedback, as a member of my advisory board.
  4. Art Greene is selecting the music for the slideshow.
  5. Rina Spatafore is offering perspective on content and message.
  6. Debbie Exner, Sylva Leduc, Karen Ramsey, my Arizona Mastermind of coach colleagues, provide strategic input, feedback, and guidance.
  7. Jill Berquist, Pam Butterfield, Jackie Johnson, my Connecticut Mastermind of coach colleagues, provide insight, perspective, and overall support.

Considering that this list would be longer if the snapshot was of a month vs. two weeks, I’d say I’m not shy about asking for help!

Opening Up To Accepting Help

photo of keyboard help keyRebecca, who coached with me earlier this year, recently called to tell me how happy she is with the direction she is pursuing and that after going through a period of uncertainty, she has recently made great progress. I asked her what had made the difference in creating this new momentum and without hesitation she answered: “Opening up to accepting help. Accepting that we can’t do it all. You work it out by letting go. Piece by piece, you learn to let go of many things. Opportunities show up. Things fall into place once you start moving.

My niece Mary Grace, now a sophomore at Villanova University, wrote about this issue in one of her college application essays. Acknowledging that she previously viewed needing help to be an admission of inferiority, Mary Grace states, “Now I consider the art of asking for help not as a sign of weakness, but of self-assurance, maturity, and courage. So at the risk of appearing imperfect, I ask for help anyway.”

Who Can Help You With That?

Rebecca cites opening up to accepting help as the breakthrough from uncertainty to momentum. Mary Grace now considers asking for help an “art”. How good are you at asking for help? If your answer is “not so good,” make it a point to get better.

This Week’s Call to Action:

  • Within the last 30 days, who has given you some kind of help? Whether it was in large or small ways, appreciate the value of what was offered and apply it well.

  • Name three people who can help you with a current problem or endeavor. Reach out to them now.

“…I eventually realized that learning comes at least as much
through exposure to and interaction with others’ gifts and knowledge
as it does through individual effort.”
— Mary Grace Mangano

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

See Also: How Can I Help You?; Traveling The Distance From What You Know To How You Live; You Didn’t Have To Do That

© 2011, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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