As professionals, we are proud of the countless hours we put into projects and major accomplishments. A majority of us take pride in “carrying the team and workload.” And to continue to prove ourselves, when the work starts to pile up, we keep our head down and work even harder.
We are all pretty noble, right? Wrong.
When we refuse to share our individual struggles with the team, no one can adjust or help in the best way possible. We start to miss deadlines. We drop the ball on important projects or fall behind. We say a soft sorry, but aren’t able to make promises or improve our performance. We don’t want to let the team down, but want to have ownership, so we keep working and keep quiet. This the wrong approach; the only thing we are now doing is adding more chaos, confusion, and tension among the team, losing trust and respect.
The truth is we need to be able to recognize when we need help, and ask for it. If we humble ourselves, become vulnerable, and are willing to ask for help, the perspective can change from “you’re lazy and aren’t getting things done,” to “how can we help you now that we know you are struggling and need help?” Not only will the team get things done together, but when anyone on the team struggles in the future, we all know that the rest of the team will have our back.
When you are struggling, carrying the burden on our own may feel like the selfless thing to do, but it is actually damaging to our team. It’s time we lean on our teams when moments get tough and busy, and as a result, team members will know they can rely on us.