Seeking expertise – Tips and benefits of asking for help

Do you ask for help when you need it? When should we seek expertise? What is the cost if we don’t? Money, health, well-being?

“I can do it myself”. Noble words! When do they apply and when do they cause heartache or even dollars?

Faced these dilemmas lately? I have and it was all about IT issues. Here are three tips and five benefits of being smart rather than soldiering on, wasting time and taking the risk that you might not get it right! Share your story if you have one too…

1. It is ok to ask for help

In the workplace there is evidence to support that you will be more respected if you do ask for help when you need it. It is not beneficial to muddle along or pretend you know the answers when you don’t. A recent study from the Harvard Business School suggests asking for help makes you look more, not less, capable. According to the study authors, when you ask people for advice, you validate their intelligence or expertise, which makes you more likely to win them over.

2. Get referrals

So people love to help and feel worthwhile. So whatever you need help with either ask someone who has the answer or ask for a referral. How easy is it to say to a number of your connections either directly or on social media, who do you know who is reliable to fix my car, fix my computer, clean my house, advise on renovations, design my outdoor extension, provide financial advice, provide a fitness program, sell my house, deliver fresh vegetables and so on.

3. Recommend and share

Tell others if you have found some great expertise. No-one recommends unless really satisfied and so people trust your judgement. A special thank you to all those who have referred me over the years.


1. You feel good, more relaxed because it does take the pressure off

When you ask for help you can possibly learn a new skill or technique from the expert or just be satisfied you have an ongoing resource to call on in the future. Keep good records and details so the next time it is easier.

2. Karma

What comes around goes around is a truism in life. “Every person is responsible for his or her acts and thoughts, so each person’s karma is entirely his or her own”. When you have been helped by someone and a good job is done, you will be happy to refer that person with the expertise. It is not about a discount for the future (however sometimes that is a bonus too) but about that good feeling. Research has shown that when we help others it provides a boost to our feel good hormone oxytocin.

3. Actually get done what is needed

My recent experience of this was after struggling and working by myself to fix an ongoing computer glitch, I found my recommended technical person fixed everything very quickly and saved me probably treble the hours if I had done it myself. We must accept we can’t be experts in all aspects of our lives!

4. Cost benefit

Often it is a time factor. Time is money in this busy world and if it is a precious commodity to you then be willing to part with dollars to get the best return. Maybe you need to compare and get quotes or even ask friends about expected rates per hour so you are prepared. Think about how easily you can spend that same money on a night out or some shoes.

If it costs you a few hundred dollars, put it into perspective and look at the ongoing benefits. Prioritise what is most important.

5. Guarantee and follow up relationship

Most services provide a guarantee for their work and an ongoing commitment. It means you are likely to have a service relationship you can call on as needed. Next time it won’t take as much of your time because you will go straight to the source. There will be trust.


2 Comments on “Seeking expertise – Tips and benefits of asking for help”

  1. I spent 12 months trying to create my own website, sounds easy, even cost effective. However I am not an IT guru and found it frustrating, time wasting and counter productive to my business , as I still didn’t have a marketing tool. I was lucky to have met someone whose sister was a website designer, and as she was just starting her business, she gave me a brilliant deal. I now have an innovative website that ticks all the boxes for my diversity as a small business owner. As my husband says “horses for courses”, let the people who know what they are doing get on with it, and concentrate on what I do best. I agree.

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