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Change: Ask for help!

As we are leading coalitions, groups or teams, there is a common misperception that we have to be the ones to “do it all.” We may find ourselves overwhelmed and overburdened and cannot see how it would be possible for anyone else to fulfill our roles and responsibilities. Alternatively, we may be hesitant to ask for help because we are concerned about our partners and colleagues being overwhelmed and we do not want to be an additional burden to them. Over the past few weeks, I have been completely overloaded with responsibilities and unable to see how I was going to be able to fulfill all my commitments. Then, I received a phone call last Friday morning that my uncle in Iowa passed away. I knew I wanted to be with my family during this time but I also knew there was WAY too much to do.  How could I take an entire week off to travel to Iowa right now? This has been the busiest month of the year! As I considered what was most important to me and I considered all that I needed to accomplish, I realized I had to ask for help. And what has happened this week? I’ve had tremendous support, kindness and a willingness from others to help accomplish what I thought only I could do. If you are in a place where you are experiencing a lot of change and feeling quite overwhelmed, join me in considering three reasons to ask for help.

  1. We cannot do it on our own. Seriously. If you are already in an overwhelmed place and then you get a phone call similar to mine above, you just cannot. You have to choose where you will spend your time and you cannot do it all on your own. It’s important to realize that you need help and to ask for it! Honestly, it is even better if you figure out you cannot do it on your own before you get to the point of being overwhelmed. Of course, this is a process…:)
  2. We give others an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. When you ask for help, you allow others to contribute, build their skills and increase their confidence and capacity. When we try to do it all on our own, we may be preventing our colleagues and friends from learning, growing and doing things that they never thought they could do. You also have an opportunity to expand what is possible as a coalition or a team.
  3. We build relationships. Coalition building is all about relationships. Our purpose is to do more together than we could do on our own. How will we ever really be able to do that unless we ask for help from our coalition members, colleagues and friends? When we ask for help, we are building relationships with our colleagues and friends. When we ask for help, we are demonstrating trust in our colleagues. When we increase trust, we increase the strength of the relationship. And when we have strong relationships, we have strong coalitions and can accomplish amazing things by working together.

So what about you? How are you going to ask for help this week?

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