Supporting Yourself and Others

As business leaders, owners, and team members, sometimes we need support or help.  And there is no problem asking for it. Sometimes, we have been led to believe that asking for support is a sign of weakness, but the weakness comes in failing because of not asking for what you need.

One step to put in place before you ask for help is to confirm whether your question is worth asking or if you can figure it out on your own.  Do your homework first.  Let’s say you have a question about how your client is using a particular process.  Before asking, determine if you can observe what they are doing yourself or research online on their website and through social media to see what, if anything, your client has shared and will help you either start a conversation with them from a more knowledgeable standpoint or learn what you need without asking.  Therefore, start with your own homework and then even if you still have to ask for help, you are starting with a better base of knowledge.


At this stage, you have determined that support is necessary.   Let’s talk about the 3W’s in asking and getting the support you need.


The first step is knowing what you need to get support. Are you feeling unmotivated? Are you struggling to complete a task? Are you having difficulty understanding what is expected?  Are you needing help with a certain part of your business that you are either weak at or do not have time for?


Once you know what you need support for, figure out who can give you that support. It may be your team leader, a mentor, a close friend, or another resource.


Finally, how can the person you selected in step 2 give you what you need from #1. It is best to clearly identify how they could help you.

Seeking support often means asking for support, because despite how well your support person knows you, they are not mind readers.

Asking for what is need is an art. Some people might refer to it as “the art of asking.”

So, why don’t we ask for support.

Because we assume others know what we need. Which again, your supports are not mind readers and so they need to know specifically what you need.

Or we come up with excuses about why not to “bother” them because “they’re probably too busy to help” or “they probably can’t help.”

I know, asking isn’t easy but if you don’t ask, you will never know

How to ask for support with the SET method

 S: Be Specific – give as much information as possible to make sure you get what you need.

E: Be Explicit (just like we don’t want you reading other people’s minds, we don’t want you to make other people read your mind) – explicitly state that you are asking for support, don’t wait for someone to notice that you need it.

T: Be Thankful – appreciate the support that you receive.

Another good point is to remember that some support also comes within ourselves.

How does that work?

Be supportive of others

Support others and they will support you.  Be generous with your help when asked.

Give yourself permission to make a mistake.

Making a mistake can serve as a reminder that you are human.  Being able to stand back up after you fall can remind you that you can support yourself through any challenge. Allow yourself the space to make a mistake and learn from it.

Set a boundary.

Oftentimes saying “no” to others means saying “yes” to yourself. Notice when you want to say “no” and consider following through.

Say yes to a need.

When you are talking, answer. And make that answer YES. The more you say “yes” to yourself, the more you’re telling yourself “I’ve got this!”

Make time to think.

Sometimes, taking the time to get away to think about what you need or learned will help you better determine your actual needs and where you need help.  In fact, sleeping on it or moving away from the problem might just allow the time needed to get the answers you need.

Speak to yourself like you would a friend.

We’re all our own worst critic. Be your own support by speaking to yourself the way you would to a close friend or someone asking you for support.

Incorporate the ideas and steps that are best for you and get the specific support you need.