I like simple. And I assume that most other people do too, especially as it relates to minimizing stress.
Everyone of us has a threshold for stress, and believe it or not, we each create our own stress because it all starts with the mind!
We are seeing more and more these days that we are being called to do more with less. Less time, less resources, etc.
And to overcome these requests by our organizations, we need to learn to do this one thing:
Ask for what you need.
Whoa, that sounds incredibly simple! Right? But most of us do NOT ask. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you". Pretty basic and I think if it's in the number one best seller of all times, we should be doing it!
Think about this: when people actually ask for what they need, they find that most people are willing to help! Others will offer information, ideas, referrals, materials, talent, and more. Added bonus....research states that asking for what you need actually improves your job performance and satisfaction, enables you to clear your mind to find GREAT talent, boost creativity, reduce stress and improve the performance and effectiveness of your teams. Oh my goodness!
Asking initiates the cycle of giving and receiving. So many of us thrive on giving AND receiving. So when asking, giving, and receiving become regular routines at work, you can find the resources you need.
Ok, so that's easy....just ask. But I think the real question here is:
Why don't we ask?
This, I believe, is two-fold. First, we routinely underestimate others' ability and willingness to help, and therefore, we don't bother to ask. Many people are willing to help, but they can't help you if they don't know what you need. So speak up!
Second, I think people believe that asking for help is a sign of incompetence. But if you think about what you are asking for, people will admire you and believe you are more competent because you're confident, know your limits, and don't waste time working a problem out yourself that could be solved with help from others.
How do you start asking for help?
I say you just start! Are you struggling to complete part of a project and the deadline is coming up soon? I recommend reaching out to your boss and sharing your situation. Tell them all you have done so far and what resources you need to complete the project on-time with the needed deliverables. Great leaders know what the rest of their team has on their plates. Your boss could provide you with another team member to assist you, or even someone in a different department.
Another way to ask is to do so during your team meetings. Most teams have at least a weekly meeting, so speak up! Ask if anyone has extra time on their schedule to assist you or resources to help out. You'll be amazed at what ideas others have (and by the way, very few people will open their mouths when they have little on their plates so this is a great way to help balance everyone's workload without directly calling out those team members!).
Remember: The most productive and stress-less people are those who generously help others and ask for what they need (and by the way, this tip doesn't just apply to the work environment). So ask away!