Afraid to Ask for Help!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about fear to ask questions: How do I create an atmosphere that is free from fear to ask questions?

After having a work problem there had been a lot of tension and awkward moments at my job. Working on the sales floor has become a little impossible not being able to ask others for help and struggling to do your job. What could be the best way to resolve the tension or at least make the workplace a tension free area during working hours.


Attention to Tension


Dear Attention to Tension:

You say that it’s “a little impossible not being able to ask others for help.” You aren’t specific about what problem occurred in your work setting, but you attribute the tension and awkward moments to that. So let’s assume that the past is past even though it probably would be better to have confronted whatever it was at the time it happened.

Now the problem is that you feel awkward and afraid to ask for help; help that is important to working on the sales floor. You want to sell and you need knowledge of your products and their prices. You also need to know the rules about 1.How display of products are set up and who is responsible, 2. Who sells what, and 3. Which of you on the floor is expected to approach a customer. From this distance, I can assume those topics are all you need to ask about.

There might be other things you need to know, but for now, can you jot down the answers to those three topics? Do so and take your answers to your boss and ask if you understand is correct. Next admit that you have been feeling awkward and tense. Rather than to pretend you are not, acknowledge you want the help of your boss. Bosses are hired to make a place run smoothly. They don’t always do that however hard they try, but that’s their job and I predict yours will respond in a supportive way to your admission of this, particularly if you sincerely express your commitment to doing quality work and making their job easier.

Your attitude comes through by action; action that are evidence of you wanting to product knowledge and to follow the sales talking points recommended by your workplace. If you will scan more of Q&As in Archives, you will come across other suggestions that speak to your question, such as how to resolve tension that is linked to feelings of working scared, as apparently you are in feeling you can’t ask for help. Learning how to deal with tension will continue until you feel competent and are able to look in the mirror and say, “I’m learning and doing all I can to make our sales floor an effective and pleasant place to work.”

You can become instrumental in making that happen. You can become a cheerleader rather than a scared and hesitant. You can’t solve what beyond your control, but you can make a difference. Right? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS is my way of saying that no job is flying solo. Checking to see if the plane is ready for takeoff is important and requires active listening and repeating/following instructions. Asking questions is part of that. So if you want to fly, ask, ask, and ask. There is no shame is asking to be clear and sure you are on the right runway.

William Gorden