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 Asking For Help: A Leadership Strength

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Let’s face it: being a leader in a fast-paced, complex organisation can feel overwhelming at the best of times. The constant pressure to perform, the endless to-do lists, and the expectation to have all the answers can make anyone feel like they’re on the brink. And yet, many women hesitate to ask for help, fearing that it will be seen as a sign of weakness or incompetence. We believe asking for help is actually a sign of strength and confidence.

You’ve heard the stories of the lone hero, who single-handedly overcomes insurmountable odds. But in reality, leadership isn’t about going it alone. When you try to do everything yourself, you not only risk burnout, unnecessary stress and overwhelm but also miss out on the valuable insights and perspectives that others can offer.

We believe it is about recognising the strengths and contributions of those around you and leveraging their strengths to achieve collective success. Creating spaces for collaboration and cooperation are innate feminine powers – it is time to leverage yours! 

Brené Brown reminds us that vulnerability is not a weakness but a measure of courage. When you ask for help, you’re demonstrating that you’re secure enough in your own abilities to recognise when you need support. It’s a powerful message to your team that it’s safe to be human, to have limitations and to seek assistance when needed.

Build support around you

One of the most effective ways to ensure you don’t burn out is to build a strong support network around you. This group could consist of colleagues, mentors and friends who you can turn to when you need to share your worries, collaborate on solutions, and simply feel understood and accepted.
 

Share Your Worries: Having a trusted group with whom you can share your concerns and fears can be incredibly therapeutic and also inspirational. It reminds you that you’re not alone and that others have faced and overcome similar challenges.

Collaborate to Build Solutions: Two heads are better than one, and five are better than two. When you collaborate with others, you tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that can help you find creative and effective solutions to problems.

Feel Belonging and Acceptance: Being part of a supportive network where you feel accepted for who you are – with all your strengths and weaknesses – can boost your confidence and resilience. It creates a sense of belonging that is crucial for your well-being.

Asking for what you need

Reading that might make you feel the “ick”. Try these tips to make asking easier:

Identify Your Needs: Take a moment to reflect on where you need support. Is it a specific project, a skill you need to develop, or simply someone to brainstorm ideas with?

Choose the Right Person: Think about who in your network has the expertise or perspective that could be helpful. It might be a colleague, a mentor, or even someone outside of work.

Be Clear and Direct: When you ask for help, be specific about what you need. Instead of saying “I’m struggling with this project,” try, “Can you help me brainstorm some ideas for this project? I’m feeling stuck on how to approach it.”

Express Gratitude: Always thank the person for their time and assistance. Let them know how their help has made a difference.

Role Modelling vulnerability to empower others 

By asking for help, you not only lighten your own load but also set a powerful example for your team and other women leaders around you. You show them that it’s okay to seek support, that it’s a normal part of the work process and that it can lead to better outcomes for everyone. This can create a more open, collaborative, and supportive work environment where everyone feels empowered to speak up and contribute.

When you have a strong support network, you create a safety net that you can catch you when you stumble. It provides a space where you can be your authentic self, without the fear of judgment. This collective can offer you different perspectives, help you grow as a leader, and remind you that you’re part of a community. Knowing that you have people who genuinely care about your wellbeing and success can give you the strength to face challenges head-on.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of a strong, confident leader who understands the power of collaboration and community. Want to add extra support, wisdom and courage to your leadership style? Drop Sarae and Jen an email at Hello@SOARLeadership.co.uk– we coach women managers and leaders to step into their power, ask for what they need and feel aligned with their values.