You have to do it by yourself, and you can’t do it alone. –Martin Rutte
I know I’m not alone when I say I hate asking someone for help. It’s ridiculous, I know. But I really pride myself on being independent and being able to figure out stuff on my own. That’s probably why Google is my go-to when it comes to finding out how to do something. If I don’t know, Google is the first place I ask.
What’s awesome about Google is that you can ask it exactly what you want to know and get really good answers. Go ahead and ask Google anything you would ask another human.
- “How do I ask my boss for something?”
- “How do I split a pdf?”
- “How do I get my boss to stop micromanaging?”
- “What’s the best way to communicate with clients?”
All these queries will lead to several articles that answer those questions.
Which is great, until you need actual human help.
My husband and I are looking for a new home for ourselves. In our area, about the half the homes are on a combination lockbox and the other half are on ekey which requires a subscription to an app on your phone. I have a real estate license which means I can schedule showings for myself, but I don’t have an ekey because our team uses combo boxes for our listings, and I haven’t had to show homes to buyers, so I don’t have an ekey. So every time we’d want to see a home requiring an ekey, I’d have to ask my mega to open the door for us. And then I’d feel guilty for making him spend time showing us homes. (I finally just bit the bullet and subscribed to the ekey service so I don’t have to ask anymore.)
Asking is not an admission of weakness
If you have no idea what you are doing, or if you have too much on your plate, asking for help is not an admission of weakness.
Your job as a real estate executive assistant is to get the work done. It doesn’t have to always be you who does the work.
If you have a lot on your plate today and one of those things is to drive out to a listing to pick up a sign and lockbox, but that’s going to take at least an hour, it’s ok to ask for help! Maybe there’s someone on the team who is going to be in the area today, or maybe someone would happily do it over lunch just to get out of the office. You don’t need to feel guilty for asking for help when your time is better spent at the computer or on the phone.
When you have no idea what you are doing, but you spend hours pouring through the Internet to try to figure it out, that’s highly inefficient. Just ask, get a clear course of action, and get the task done as efficiently as possible.
Asking requires courage
When you hesitate to ask, it’s because you haven’t built up the courage yet. You’re experiencing pain, fear, frustration, and perhaps a feeling on ineptitude. In other works, you’re stuck! Courage will get you unstuck.
Have you ever seen an episode of The Dog Whisperer? Cesar Milan uses the sound “Tsch!” to snap a dog out of a negative mental state. The dog is stuck in that state until corrected.
That’s what you have to do for yourself. You have to set aside that pain, fear, or frustration and replace it with courage.
To build courage, try repeating a simple affirmation to yourself like, “Ask it now.”
You could also listen to a song. Music makes powerful connections in the brain, which is why I like to listen to hard rock or something with a strong beat when I’m lifting weights. The music helps me believe I am strong and powerful. It can do the same for you when you need to build up the courage to ask for something.
People are happy to help
Most people don’t like saying no. We’re still pretty primitive beings and deep down we believe our survival depends on us belonging to a tribe. So when one of our tribe needs it, we genuinely want to help. Just remember that the person you’re about to ask for help is probably flattered that you asked him or her, and will likely do whatever they can to help you.
Give permission to say no
One thing that makes it easier for me to ask, especially if I’m asking for a favor, is when I say, “I have something to you ask, and I give you permission to say no.” I say it that way to make me feel better just in case they do say no. They usually say yes, but if they do say no, then I don’t feel like they are rejecting me, because I did give them permission to say no.
What to ask for
Sometimes, we don’t even know what we should be asking for. In my opinion, the goal in life is to be happy. How can you be your happiest in your role as an executive assistant? What would make your job easier, more fun, or more fulfilling? What would contribute to your career growth?
Consider asking for:
- a raise
- training on how to build a downline
- tickets to conferences
- online course registrations
- a mentor or coach
- a new computer, desk, or office
- time off
- help with fixing a mistake
- more responsibility
- a conversation about future opportunities
- an investment in better systems
- adding more talented team members
- advice on how to solve a problem
- an hour of time from an admin you repect
The first mega I worked for had absolutely no problem asking anyone for anything. She thought it was funny that I hardly ever asked for anything. That’s why she would tell me, “Elizabeth, you have to A-S-K to G-E-T.” And that really is good advice. To get anything you want in life, at some point you’re going to have to ask for it.
Finally, a book I really enjoyed on the topic of asking is The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Dive deep into the subject and asking will be much easier for you!