The Real Reason Latinas Hate Asking for Help

Holding a leadership role in an organization often entails enormous pressure to solve current problems, anticipate future ones and to get everyone pulling in the same direction to exceed expectations.

So, how do you cope?

Do you ask for help? Discuss what you need to succeed with your boss, your mentor or your friends? Or do you tend to answer all inquiries saying, “Things are fine." Latinas in leadership often have extensive networks of family and friends that have a broad range of skills, experience or resources.

Then why are we hesitant to tap into that network for help and guidance??

Te da vergüenza?

Is it pride, embarrassment or just not knowing how to ask for help? Most likely it is all three—depending on the situations we face. Unfortunately, that hesitation to ask can do more harm than good. Many Latinas grow up with a strong sense that it’s just not appropriate to burden others with bad news or personal needs. Struggling can become all too familiar and soon its an accepted part of the journey to be successful.

What you need to do:

Change Your View

The truth is that your resilience rests on building your resources and using them. We need to ask those in our network for what we need—advice, support, investments, referrals for business or introductions to key people. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of knowing what’s necessary for success and seizing the opportunity to make it happen. That ability to be direct and insightful is actually part of what is required to be seen as a success.

Stop Apologizing

Do you find yourself hesitating to ask your colleagues, mentors or even your boss for help? Are you worried about they might think? Let's look at your approach when asking for support. Are you asking for help and, at the same time, apologizing for needing help? That's the problem! Don’t ask for more time on a project by saying “I’m such a terrible planner, can I have 2 more weeks to get this done?” Instead, position this request as being beneficial to the project, “I don’t believe we’ve done all the analysis needed. I want to make sure that we assess these other factors and that will truly require two more weeks.”

Plan to Succeed

Don't tell your friends how scared you are about the possibility of closing your business. This isn’t a request for help—that’s giving voice to fear. Instead, focus your conversation on what resources you need. Be honest about what you can afford to spend and look for alternatives for getting the help you need. Sometimes you can barter with others for the support you need or find an intern who wants to learn from you in exchange for helping you with small tasks.

Your network of friends and family want you to succeed but no one can guess what you need unless you ask.

If you have found the courage needed to hold a leadership role, lead a project or build a business then you owe it to yourself to advocate for your success!

Share with other @iHispano members how you ask for help at Latina Cubicle Confidential!