Asking Advice Makes a Good Impression

Posted on April 8, 2015

What do you do when you cannot figure out how to finish a tricky task at work? Or you are lost on back roads? One thing most people know to avoid for sure: asking for advice. It is inconsiderate. We do not want to bother others.

After all, other folks have their own problems to solve. Also, the person we ask may not have the answer we need anyway. These reasons may or may not be true. But we are pretty confident that people will think less of us. Thus, good reasons or no, we do not ask for help.

Yet our recent research suggests that the instinct to avoid seeking advice is wrong. Though extremely common, fears about appearing incompetent by asking for help or information are sorely misplaced. Here is why: when you ask for advice, people do not think less of you; they think you are smarter. They reason, "I'm brilliant (of course), so this guy's smart for asking for my advice." And by asking someone to share his or her wisdom, a person strokes the adviser's ego and can gain valuable insights. Indeed, seeking guidance from others encourages information exchange and meaningful connection between us and our friends and colleagues.

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Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from Scientific American