If you want to make a good impression at work, consider this counterintuitive finding: research suggests that you can benefit from asking your colleagues for advice. Whether inquiring after the best Jira project management tools to use or looking for guidance on an issue with troublesome code, asking for advice comes with many benefits.
Surprised? Many of us assume that seeking guidance will make us look incompetent. When we’re stuck on a task, we too often believe that asking colleagues for help will make them think we’re stupid. But according to several academics, seeking advice brings with it many surprising benefits. The fact is that advice-seekers at work are actually regarded as more competent than people who do not look for guidance from colleagues.
“We actually view people who seek our advice as much more competent than people who forego the opportunity to seek advice,” academic Alison Wood Brooks says in the Harvard Business Review. “This is because being asked for advice is flattering, it feels good.”
Or, as an article in Scientific American explains, “[A] request for advice flatters the advisor and increases her self-confidence, which in turn boosts her positive perceptions of the advice seeker.”
Here’s some advice on how best to ask for advice:
- Whoever you ask, make sure he or she is in the appropriate field and is capable of answering your question. If you’re going to ask for advice on how to use Jira project management tools from Tempo, for instance, make sure the person is at least a little bit familiar with them.
- Don’t ask for advice on very easy tasks. There needs to be a baseline of difficulty to get the benefits of seeking advice.
- If you’re feeling anxious, you should avoid asking for advice. Research suggests that people with anxiety are less capable of establishing whether they have been given good advice.
Need some advice? Tempo's Jira project management tools are designed to track time, plan resources and manage finances. Use the software, called Tempo Timesheets, Tempo Planner, and Tempo Budgets, to more efficiently and powerfully manage projects in Jira. Try our one month free trial!