How small request for a help could be turned into the conflict…


It is our short story that show you how the small and simple request for help could be turned into the conflict.

Imagine Michael…

He is working on the inquiry for the PSF Department. He has just encountered an unusual problem. He has never been faced with it before.

He checked every available sources of information (ie. procedures, the company’s FAQ, previous inquiries, he explored the documentation from last year to see if there are similar operations made by other departments).

It is impossible… – he thought. There is nothing, absolutely nothing. So he decided to ask Marianne, who has been working here for eight years.
She is very experienced, so it is the last chance of solving this problem.


Did she help him? Did her behaviour have positive intention?

Let’s see…

Marianne’s behaviour may appear negative to you. But what if she was busy then? She really wanted him to find the solution quickly. So her behaviour had positive intention, didn’t it?


What if this has already happened to you several times? What could you tell me about Michael’s feelings? Is he annoyed?
Let me guess…


Yes, he is… But what about Marianne?
What has she been thinking about when she answered him?


She also could think… (if she had a bad experience with people asking for help before)


How to avoid situations like that? How to get more positive receiving of requested help?
How to make it less frustrating?

If you have the problem and was checked in all available sources, but any solution was founded – you should find someone who can help you, and then:

  • First of all you should ask “Could you give me one minute just for tell me about…, please? I need yout help.
  • If you received “yes” answer and someone asks you “How much time do you need?” just explain:
    • what the essence is (one sentence – that’s enough! Do not tell the history of co-operation!);
    • what kind of information source you have just already used.
  • If you got the answer: “I’m so sorry, I haven’t got any time…” then ask this person: “Could we meet tomorrow in the morning?” or “I’d like to meet as soon as possible“. Explain the reason of meeting and… appreciate this person’s experience!

If someone asks you for help in finding information, solutions, don’t give advice, try to put yourself in somebody’s shoes, just ask: “What was your source of information?

That’s all

Better to ask the way than go astray.

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