Just listened to this podcast of a ted talk by Heidi Grant where she talked about 4 ways to ask for help. Got some great insights which I thought would be nice to share and helpful for others.
1- Be very specific with what you need help with. This makes it clear for your helper with regard to what exactly you need help with.
*Example: I would like your advice on getting into medical school.
2- Avoid disclaimers/apologies/bribes. This makes your helper feel uncomfortable. Furthermore adding incentives in return of help makes it more like a transaction when reaching out to a friend or coworker for help.
*Example: I am sorry I have to ask you this or I hate bothering you but I need your help.
3- DO NOT ask for help over email or text. You probably think it is less awkward to ask for help over these mediums but guess what is even less awkward? Saying NO on email or text.
*Example: Some people even go to the extent of emailing a group of 10 people asking if ONE of them could help.
4- Follow up with the person who agrees to help you.
If I have no idea how my help facilitated you in getting what you wanted, how would I feel about it with regard to the time and effort spent in helping you.
*Example: This is why donor appeals are so effective. You get letters and pictures from the person or organization you helped which further encourages you to help others. Other ways to follow up include- Your advice helped me getting that big sale or your support really helped me during my dark times.