“Yes, but” is one of the most toxic phrases you can say in a work environment and can diminish your chances of getting an offer in an interview. Author Linnda Durre writes in this Forbes.com article, saying this phrase “will make you sound noncommittal, undependable and untrustworthy.”
Not to mention “Yes, but” comes across as passive aggressive. At minimum, you are saying to the person you are conversing with, “I heard you and don’t agree.” Or your really just meant to say no.
The bottom line is that saying, “yes, but” is an excuse.
Those who utter “yes, but” don’t really want answers, help, or solutions Durre states.
I am not very good at asking for help. I like to do thing myself even if it takes four times as long. People are willing to help and I know doing things myself is wasting time and often only frustrates me. Yet, I still don’t always ask for help when I should.
The truth is, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. There are things your spouse, friends, co-workers are just better at than you are. Or if not better, maybe just faster.
For example, I am not great at Photoshop, but my husband is a wiz. Last night, I spent an hour trying to find the right picture for a project and trying to make it fit. It just wasn’t happening. Finally seeing my frustration, he asked if he could help. It took a few times before I said yes. If I had just accepted his help the first time I would have been less exasperated and the project would have been done much earlier.
Tory Johnson, CEO of Women For Hire www.womenforhire.com sums it up in her article Why Smart Women Ask for Help, “there is minimal risk in asking for help; the real risk is in not asking.” She states asking for help is having the forethought to eliminate potential problems.
Maybe if I start looking at asking for help as a way to eliminate a problem instead of a reflection of my failures, it might be easier.
How do you know when to ask for help? Have you ever regretted asking?
Stay tuned for the second part of this post, how to ask for help nicely.