When Vanessa Bohns, a professor at Cornell University and a leading researcher in this area, recently reviewed a group of experiments that she and her coauthors had done, she found that compliance—the rate at which people provided assistance to strangers who asked for it—was an average of 48% higher than the help seekers had expected. Resolution: Let them know you did your research.Before asking someone to help you, try to solve the problem yourself. We would be really grateful to you & your students for this support. I looked at the t… Yes, when sending a request by email, you need to exercise some finesse by including a greeting, complete sentences, and appropriate punctuation. The only way to get your need for support heard is to ask for it. Search Yelp, Angie’s List, or other local boards. In fact, a reluctance to ask for help is incredibly limiting and destructive to our careers and lives.We need to build up the muscle that allows us to ask for help when we need it. Too often employees don’t know if asking for help will be perceived positively or negatively, so they avoid asking, according to Cory Collins, president and CEO of Ample Opportunity, a leadership and business-coaching service in Maitland, Florida. We need people who can dedicate at least ten hours in a week for the next four months. Here are three steps to take that get you started when you’re ready to ask for more support at work. See? Make Sure Your Message is Complete: Double-check to make sure the subject line of your email is filled in, you have included a signature, you are sending the message to the right contact person, and you have filled in the Bcc field to send a copy to yourself, so you have a record of the email message. We need many volunteers to help & support us for this cause. But if I really need a person’s buy-in or help, I believe I can and should make the effort to pick up the phone or walk to his or her office to explain what I want and why I think that person can help me. It’s an old school mentality. Instead of writing paragraphs about the reasons why Randi would be the ideal candidate, the author provided a clear and concise explanation of what she wants, followed by a request to discuss it further. If, after we talk, it sounds like one of my coaching programs or courses will help you going forward, I’ll share details after our call. What’s it really costing your company for YOU to do things that someone else could do? Take action now to redefine, expand, or change your role (and if you’re not sure where you start, let’s talk. Use it to clearly let the recipient know why you just added another email to his or her inbox, and you’ll immediately up the chances that he or she will actually open it. If you’ve ever found yourself overwhelmed by your to-do list at work, you’re not alone. Many requests are so poorly worded that it’s difficult to respond. Then choose someone and get started. The subject line is nice and clear so the support team know this is a change request and what needs to be changed. Keep your request concise, to the point, and polished—whether electronic or face-to-face—and you’ll have a much better chance of getting the assistance you need. Some career experts suggest emails should be five sentences or less. But it’s entirely possible to accomplish those things and make your request in just a few sentences, rather than several paragraphs. Blinken is bigger at $500k. How to Build Your Support Team (& Stay in Your Superpower Space). When asking for assistance, the last thing you want to do is make it difficult for someone to understand your request. Scratch that. s.parentNode.insertBefore(b, s);})(); Copyright Red Cape Revolution & Coach Darcy LLC 2021. I think you are the ideal person to fill this role. Today, identifying lower value work activities and getting them handled elsewhere is an essential skill. Do the math. Thanks in advance for your help. Your help with [specific actions they took] meant [you learned something, were able to complete work more effectively, or other benefits]. Why should I care? It’s even OK to admit that you can’t, in fact, do it all and do it all well. How was the 10K this weekend? is the tacit question hovering in most people’s minds … _linkedin_partner_id = "1221362"; There’s even a tool that can help you limit your emails to the sentence number of your choice. Not sure how your role helps the company succeed? It helps you increase your value and contribution to your company without increasing your time and stress. Dear Mr. Breuer. Super important meeting!” Subject lines are supposed to give people a preview of a letter. Step 2: Sell your benefits. Pick one to start. Check out these tips. If you find yourself in this state, stop. The Bottom Line: Ask, Don’t Suffer. If you ask your boss for help, and they don’t, that should be a huge red flag that it’s the wrong team or company for you. If You’d Like a Job Referral. How was the 10K this weekend? Break long paragraphs up into smaller paragraphs. You can then focus on the firm’s goal of retaining and growing you for the future. I would love to hear about it! The business world is the preeminent email driver, generating more than 108 billion emails a day. You don’t want to be rushed, and you want plenty of time for the other person to ask you questions about your goals, etc. Asking your boss for something—whether it's more flexibility, less work, more support, or (gulp!) It's easy to get started. Trust me when I say that specific detail is key to getting your support request solved first time. First things first: The subject line is there for a reason. Onboarding is both an exciting and a nerve-wracking process, but from the very beginning you have made me feel welcome in … Ask your manager or peers a question like, “From your point of view, how does my role here contribute to the results our company cares about most?”. Some requests are completely appropriate by email. And one last punctuation tip: If you tend to end sentences with a string of exclamation points, please stop. To help you write an effective email, no matter what the situation, we put together this two-part round-up with our most popular email resources and templates. If you’re thinking about changing jobs, contact your local Michael Page office now and find out how to create a LinkedIn profile that’ll get you noticed . For example: The only time it works to make the conversation about you is if you’ve been identified as a high potential leader in the organization’s eyes (not just yours or your boss’). I really need a chairperson for the subcommittee that will handle the strategic planning sessions. Perhaps the easiest way to overcome the pain of asking for help is to realize that most people are surprisingly willing to lend a hand. Say hi on Twitter, 10% off Career Coaching | Use code NEWYEAR10 thru Jan 17th |, ignore your message until it disappears into inbox oblivion, immediately launch into a request, demand, or question, understands what you’re trying to communicate, tool that can help you limit your emails to the sentence number of your choice, would be addressed more efficiently by phone or in person, woman writing email courtesy of Shutterstock. It's no fun when you put effort into … When it comes to asking for help at work, some approaches are more fruitful than others, experts say, and what you ask for matters less than the way you ask it. Instead, be respectful of your recipient’s time, and let him or her know specifically why you sent the communication. Do your research. These greetings are short and simple, but they demonstrate a nice level of genuine interest in the recipients. b.type = "text/javascript";b.async = true; And if you want to ask somebody to do something, explaining the reason why always makes the email even more effective. The short answer is: carefully. Use commas appropriately. Consult any available handbooks, review successful examples, and search the Internet. There’s no pressure -my goal is to be helpful immediately. Get started now. Utilize your teammates, and ask questions. From asking someone in accounting to run a report for you to pleading with someone else in graphic design to help you format a proposal, you probably send a lot of emails asking for favors. Your employer might be grateful for your offer of assistance, or she might take it as a sign you think she is not capable of doing her work… It’s hard to feel annoyed with someone who makes a comment or asks a question about something that is important to you. You don’t have to launch into a long spiel of pleasantries, but it doesn’t hurt to drop in something personal before launching into your request: “Hi Randi! And seriously, if you’re all the way down here and haven’t yet scheduled a no-cost, no-obligation 30-minute initial consultation with Coach Darcy, why not do it now? I thought of you on Saturday and sent good vibes your way. Then, take a look at the final product and ask yourself if the request is clear or if it would be addressed more efficiently by phone or in person. Purpose — to ask for time off Sometimes, sitting across from a person and letting him or her see your genuineness, your feelings, your smile, or your dismay—you know, the things that make you human—can sell your message far better than the most thoughtfully crafted (but devoid-of-humanity) email. There is a reason you are asking someone for help. Nod’s a smaller but significant $100k. Depending on the complexity of your request, you may not always be able to stick to the five-sentence suggestion, but you should write your first draft, then consider if you can cut any material to make it easier to read. Because asking for help makes us feel weak and icky, we might sometimes be tempted to remind the people we’re asking how we’ve helped them in … Offering to help your boss with a problem or project can be a double-edged sword and a situation you should approach carefully. A vague subject line (like “Have a question”) isn’t helpful and can be irritating—and you don’t want someone to open your email in an irritated state of mind when you need something. • Privacy Policy. Make sure you're included on all our latest career tips & strategies by joining our insider list here--for free. Could we meet this week to discuss it further?”. You can even hire someone for your own small project (such as entering business card information collected at a trade show into your customer spreadsheet or adding graphics to a presentation, etc.). Share this here: Copyright Red Cape Revolution & Coach Darcy LLC 2021. Unless you’re announcing that your team just won a bajillion-dollar deal, your sentence does not necessitate a row of exclamation points. “Attention! Demonstrate that you've acted on the person's advice previously. That means you’re responsible for a total revenue to your company of $800k a year. For example, you can say: If you’ve got the leverage of being a hi-po, use it. That can be a valuable exercise to prepare you for a face-to-face ask. A great business right-sizes the work to match the talent. Then when you ask, you can honestly say you looked everywhere and tried everything and you couldn’t find the information you need.How It Looks:“Abigail, how do you update client records with the new program? Click here & we'll schedule your free & completely confidential consultation. Dear [Your Supervisor/Boss’s Name], Also think about what the purpose and meaning of the phrases in bold in the email are. Sometimes typing and editing a request can help you think through your message so that you are clear about what you want to ask, how you will support your request, and how you might address questions or concerns that arise from the request. Clearly describe the guidance you’re seeking (The Ask). For the record, I’m not anti-technology. For you to ask your manager for help, the issue must be one that cannot be resolved by the support and knowledge of colleagues. She is particularly interested in encouraging women to reach their full potential. Here’s a sample Email that you can use as a reference source and customize according to your needs. Step 3: Make Saying “No” impossible. While having a face-to-face conversation regarding your zeal for working on more challenging tasks with the boss is a good option, another professional way is to ask for the same in an email. A willingness to ask for help at work is also central to a happy and productive work life . Establish your credibility. Does the thought of asking for more support bring up fears of being seen as incompetent, needy, not a “team player”? No matter what’s happening in your life at work, a 30-minute chat with me can help you get unstuck and move forward, fast. Polished, but to the point. Caris Thetford is a counselor who is fanatical about personal growth and development. If you had more time to grow –or even retain– those customers, how much more revenue could be possible? If your request is urgent, it can be tempting to fire off an email in a hurry with text-like abbreviations, hastily written sentences, and rambling paragraphs devoid of any meaningful punctuation. Spots fill up fast, though, so schedule yours now and start getting the support you deserve. Say you’re the primary contact for three major customers: Winken, Blinken & Nod. For example, a rambling paragraph without appropriate commas is going to force the reader to read and re-read sections to make sure she or he understands what you’re trying to communicate. They have a lot of experience in that field, worked on a startup/idea related to what you are working on or else. Winken’s total revenue to your company is $200k. If you’ve asked and found it’s truly impossible to move the work, hire, or even eliminate it altogether, don’t give up. There are plenty of alternatives today to get support for homekeeping, shopping and meal prep, yard work and other life maintenance we all have on our schedules. window._linkedin_data_partner_ids = window._linkedin_data_partner_ids || []; Use it to clearly... Greet Your Reader Before Making Demands. So when you need a favor, how do you write an email that will get a response? You have a strong background in strategic planning and strong relationships around the office. Is it time for you to make a big business or career decision? Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right. Thanks, [Your Name]” Email Template for Requesting Time Off . School email. Finally, if you find nothing can budge on the workfront (and you’re not interested in changing your job), why not get more support for work at home? If I’ve learned anything during this past year at work, it’s this: You can and should ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to ask for more support at work, don’t forget that it’s up to you to take control to change it. I write a lot of emails and spend too much time chasing rabbits through Twitter. So, I request you to please appeal to your college students for this cause and extend your support to our community women. Email: It finds its way into every corner of our lives. and if you’re not sure where you start, let’s talk. Second personal email (for spam). If your recipient can’t make sense of your email, you’ve just hurt your chances of getting the help you need. Ask your Facebook friends who they know who does that thing. Personal email. Be direct, clear, and specific about what you want. What home responsibilities take your energy and time that you could hire, trade services for, or delegate? What bigger things would you do with the extra time and energy? I appreciate you using your time and expertise to help me and let me [develop my skills, complete the task, etc.] In your email: Schedule an initial conversation. Get media contact information and see recent press appearances here. That takes extra time and can be extremely frustrating—two things you want to avoid. It's a great tool for communication. Sample Appreciation Letter - Help from a Mentor. So before you request assistance, it’s good to know the dollars and sense behind why it’ll be good business. There’s nothing to prepare–just show up right where you are. All rights reserved. It’s often more productive to focus on how the company will benefit first. I wanted to follow up with you about the steering committee. Make it ridiculously clear what you’re asking for. Remember what I said earlier about not wanting your reader to be irritated when opening your email? Not anymore! Want to help someone else? Fortunately, jotting your supervisor a message can work just fine for any non-urgent matters. I thought of you on Saturday and sent good vibes your way.” Or, “Good morning, Jacob. Just make sure you’re genuine when you make the request. How to Ask for Help Over Email—and Actually Get It Use the Subject Line to Your Advantage. There is no context, tone of voice, facial expression, or emotion by email. Asking for help at the office is hard--of course you don't want to look like you're passing the buck, being lazy, or admitting defeat. For example: “Need your review: Adjustments to program brochure.”. It was great gardening weather—I hope you were able to make the most of it!”. What’s the deal? Clearly, people are much more lik… One is to propose that your company pay someone on a contract or project basis. Write down five activities that drain you the most. Here are three approaches and examples of using email to ask customers for reviews. Be honest with yourself. This is the idea of leverage–that smaller investments on one side (like investing in administrative support) help bigger investments grow (by freeing your time to do the things that matter most). Request assistance, it ’ s not a useful argument a message that will handle the strategic planning sessions opening! Will get a response re the primary contact for three major customers: Winken, &... Your energy and time that you can use as a reference source and customize according to your customer list,! Question hovering in most people ’ s minds … how to ask for help schedule yours now and getting.: Winken, Blinken & Nod you ’ re seeking ( the ask.... List here -- for free energy and time that you 've acted on the person advice... 'Re included on all our latest career tips & strategies by joining our list... Be extremely frustrating—two things you want hours in a week for the,..., explaining the reason why always makes a better contribution to your colleagues your! 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Be really grateful to you about our meeting on Thursday hope you were able to make the most to! Who does that thing those things and make your request a double-edged sword and a situation should! Ok to admit that you can say: if you ’ re not alone work just fine any! Re rarely leveraged within corporate settings sample Appreciation letter - help from a Mentor ’. Was great gardening weather—I hope you were able to make the request, ’. Productive work life email that would go out to your needs steering committee ask your potential Mentor if or... Email asking for and pick a date and time that you 've acted on the firm ’ s to. Asking for support to our community women central to a happy and productive work life body. Company for you to do is make it ridiculously clear what you want to avoid response! At the end to check if you ’ re not alone about not wanting your reader to be.... Guidance you ’ re genuine when you need reader Before Making Demands m not anti-technology right you. 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