It is easy to get overwhelmed at work, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep trying to do everything by yourself. You have a naturally built in support system all around you. Your coworkers have their own responsibilities, but everyone knows that more is accomplished through cooperation than trying to power through a difficult task alone. However, the real lesson of collaboration is learning how to ask for help when you need it. Here are some things to consider next time you need assistance at work.

Don’t be Helpless

There is nothing worse when a perfectly capable person acts as though they are unable to complete a task. And, furthermore, most of your coworkers are smart enough to understand the trick. Over time, being helpless won’t get you the results you want. Instead, be direct rather than passive aggressive about asking for help.

Don’t be Demanding

That being said, there is a difference between being direct and being demanding. Never bark out orders and expect you coworker to stand at attention. If you want someone to help, ask them directly but understand if they are unable to help you out in the moment.

Reciprocate the Help

The best way to get people to help you in the workplace is to be helpful. If you are unwilling to help your coworkers out when they need it, don’t be surprised when they are unwilling to help you. Help out where and when you can and you’ll find that others are more than happy to return the favor. But do know that there is a difference between reciprocation and a sense of entitlement.

Be Grateful

Lastly, never forget to express your gratitude to the person or people helping you out on the job. Always say the words, “Thank you,” in the moment. If the assistance was particularly difficult or went way above and beyond your expectations, feel free to send them a thank you note or give them a small treasure to show that you appreciate what they’ve done for you.

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