As part of the research conducted by Brene Brown, she asked managers what behaviors helped to create trust in their direct reports. If like most people, you guess that the answer is dependability or accountability or something similar, you would be incorrect.

According to Brown, the number one trust-earning behavior is asking for help.

And yet, how many of us are reluctant to do so for fear that it makes us look weak or incompetent or unable to accomplish our goals. We carry additional stress and work ridiculous hours because we can’t muster the courage it takes to perform a behavior that actually enhances our standing with our manager (as well as relieves us of some of the task burden).

Asking for help isn’t something that is limited to your boss. It creates bonds with colleagues, in family relationships, among friends and in most settings where the vulnerability and intimacy required just to ask enhances the feeling of certitude about the person. After all, you don’t ask for help from someone that you don’t trust.

Don’t suffer in silence. The next time you could use a helping hand, wave yours at someone and ask for their assistance. It could be the lifeline you need in the short-term as well as create a bond with them to serve you in the future.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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