I am teaching a class that needed color copies. I asked a friend who had access to a color printer if she could print copies. She said yes and had me send her the file. The next morning she texted me that she had a couple questions about the images I utilized in the handouts. When I entered her office she told me in viewing my file she thought the images were of a poor resolution. She researched the images, found better resolution versions and added them into my file. Wow! I wasn’t expecting any of that effort, I simply wanted her to print copies in color.
Asking for help can be daunting. It means giving up control and letting someone else know that you are not perfect, nor do you know everything, nor do you have the wherewithal to be able to do everything on your own. Asking for help means you are smart enough to get help when you have hit a wall. My friend took it upon herself to change my file and make it better.
Sure I could have gotten mad that she changed things. And I could have been insulted that she took it upon herself to do something more than I asked. And I could have been outraged that she thought she knew better than me, and in all of those reactions I would simply be showing my own stupidity. What she did made me look better. She didn’t have to do that, she could have just made the copies and left me to deal with my own mistake. She went above and beyond, and for that effort I am grateful.
That’s what happens when we delegate or ask for help. When we let go of our own control issues people will astound and amaze us with what they can do. They will have better ideas than ours AND have a better, smarter, faster way to get it done. When given the freedom to do things and do it their own way people will usually bring their best work and amaze you.
Next time you feel hesitant or that asking for help and delegating makes you look less than, think again. Let go and let the people around you bring their best to your game. It makes everyone better, stronger, faster and smarter. Together we can do more than we ever imagined we could do on our own.