Updated: Dec 31, 2020
You cannot and no one expects you to have all the answers when stepping up and into a new role or when you start a new project.
So make sure you take the opportunity to ask others for help. Ask colleagues, peers who may be doing a similar role, the people in the team and clients of your team, your mentors or your coach. There are many benefits from doing so:
You will very likely hear good points that you can decide to act upon
It flatters the individuals that you ask as you are treating them as an equal
You expand your network, something that is incredibly important
Adam Galinsky, a social psychologist talks about our “range of acceptable behaviour” in his great TED talk, “How to speak up for yourself”
We are rewarded when we stick to our range of acceptable behaviour but punished when we stray outside of it, punishment can take the form of being ignored or rejected if we try to speak up and influence others. The key, per Adam, is to increase your power and hence your range of acceptable behaviour as that will reduce the risks involved with speaking up.
Adam has five tips for increasing your power and hence your range including asking other people for advice, in what he refers to as
“Get allies on your side.”
So when you are in a new role or tackling a new project or problem by asking for advice we are gaining new allies onto our side and those new allies can help us solve the problems and address the unknowns that we face.
Paraphrasing from the classic book “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi:
“To achieve your goals, it matters less how smart you are or how much innate talent you’re born with. These things are important, but they mean little if you don’t understand one thing. You can’t get there alone. In fact, you can’t get very far at all.”
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