Mayday!

Asking for Help in Times of Need

M. Nora Klaver (Author)

Publication date: 07/09/2007

Mayday!

Mayday! details a 7-step process that takes the fear and intimidation out of asking for help.

Mayday! Asking for Help in Times of Need shows how to make the intimidating but potentially rewarding process of asking for help far less daunting. Using an inviting conversational style sprinkled with humor and personal stories, M. Nora Klaver first delves deeply into the social and psychological factors that keep us in isolation and then lays out a straightforward process for cultivating a mindset that will accept and invite help at home and at work. Using exercises and examples, she explains how to figure out what to ask for, whom to ask, how to ask, and when and where to ask.

Besides making our lives easier, Klaver shows that asking others for help can be an emotionally and spiritually enriching experience, one that, surprisingly, will end up making us feel more confident and will strengthen our relationships. Drawn from her twenty years of experience as both a personal and a Fortune 100 executive coach, Mayday! is the first book to fully integrate the body, mind, and emotions in a truly effective step-by-step approach to getting the help we need.

Mayday! takes a mature look at the challenge of asking for help, puncturing the philosophy of independence that can so often create feelings of isolation instead of strength. A most thought-provoking contribution.”
--Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit

"Don't let your fears subconsciously derail your passions--reclaim your voice. Read Mayday! It's revolutionary!"
--Dr.Victoria Halsey, Vice President of Applied Learning, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and coauthor of The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You

"Mayday! Shows readers how to make the intimidating process of asking for help less daunting. In a conversational, inviting way, Klaver offers anecdotes and encouragement to show us how to ask for and let others help us when we need it. And, we all need it."
--Susan Abrams, author of The New Success Rules for Women: 10 Surefire Strategies for Reaching Your Career Goals pdate?

  • Offers a systematic approach to overcoming one of many people's greatest fears: asking for help

  • Explores why we are so reluctant to ask for help as well as precisely how to ask for it

  • Illustrated with personal stories and anecdotes from the author's coaching practice

Read more and meet author below

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Overview

Mayday! details a 7-step process that takes the fear and intimidation out of asking for help.

Mayday! Asking for Help in Times of Need shows how to make the intimidating but potentially rewarding process of asking for help far less daunting. Using an inviting conversational style sprinkled with humor and personal stories, M. Nora Klaver first delves deeply into the social and psychological factors that keep us in isolation and then lays out a straightforward process for cultivating a mindset that will accept and invite help at home and at work. Using exercises and examples, she explains how to figure out what to ask for, whom to ask, how to ask, and when and where to ask.

Besides making our lives easier, Klaver shows that asking others for help can be an emotionally and spiritually enriching experience, one that, surprisingly, will end up making us feel more confident and will strengthen our relationships. Drawn from her twenty years of experience as both a personal and a Fortune 100 executive coach, Mayday! is the first book to fully integrate the body, mind, and emotions in a truly effective step-by-step approach to getting the help we need.

Mayday! takes a mature look at the challenge of asking for help, puncturing the philosophy of independence that can so often create feelings of isolation instead of strength. A most thought-provoking contribution.”
--Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit

"Don't let your fears subconsciously derail your passions--reclaim your voice. Read Mayday! It's revolutionary!"
--Dr.Victoria Halsey, Vice President of Applied Learning, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and coauthor of The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You

"Mayday! Shows readers how to make the intimidating process of asking for help less daunting. In a conversational, inviting way, Klaver offers anecdotes and encouragement to show us how to ask for and let others help us when we need it. And, we all need it."
--Susan Abrams, author of The New Success Rules for Women: 10 Surefire Strategies for Reaching Your Career Goals pdate?

  • Offers a systematic approach to overcoming one of many people's greatest fears: asking for help

  • Explores why we are so reluctant to ask for help as well as precisely how to ask for it

  • Illustrated with personal stories and anecdotes from the author's coaching practice

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - M. Nora Klaver

M. Nora Klaver (now Bouchard) is founder of Bouchard Executive Coaching, a firm dedicated to assisting individuals in both corporate and non-corporate environments to be their best and most authentic selves. She is certified as an ontological coach through the Newfield Network USA and as a Master Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation. To learn more about Nora and her work, please visit her online www.mnorabouchard.com.

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Table of Contents



Preface


Acknowledgments

Part One: The Mayday! Call

Introduction: Getting Ready
Chapter 1: Why We Don’t Ask
Chapter 2: Why We Don’t Ask – Really
Chapter 3: Why We Should Ask
Chapter 4: Anchoring Yourself

Part Two: The Mayday! Process
Step 1: Name the Need
Step 2: Give Yourself a Break
Step 3: Take a Leap
Step 4: Ask!
Step 5: Be Grateful
Step 6: Listen Differently
Step 7: Say Thanks

Conclusion: Mayday, May Day

Resources
Bibliography
Index
About the Author

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Excerpt

Mayday!

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INTRODUCTION


GETTING READY

Complain to one who can help you.
Yugoslav Proverb


When was the last time you needed help? Yesterday? This morning? Or was it months ago? When was the last time you deliberately asked for help to meet your needs? Can you even remember? Was your request fraught with so much nervousness and discomfort that there is no possible way you’ll ever forget the experience? Or did the appeal come naturally to you?

Strong, independent, and capable people blanch at the thought of asking for help. Each might benefit from the energies of others as they envision new lives, create new goals, embark on new careers, and implement new plans. Yet asking for help is the last action they will consider. No matter how strong we are, most of us work incredibly hard to avoid placing a simple call for help.

For many, asking for help is up there on the list of dreaded activities, right alongside the fear of public speaking or going to the dentist for a root canal. Asking for help can reveal our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It can bring up unresolved issues of embarrassment and loss of control. It can test us like no other personal human challenge. Requesting help is so frightening that, even when faced with death, some of us will still not ask for that helping hand. There are those in the world who would, literally, rather die than let others know they are in need.

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Yet, it’s not usually life-threatening issues that we confront on a daily basis. Instead, we are consumed with smaller, imagined issues. Every day, no matter where you go, you may experience a need—a need for help. It may manifest at home, at work, at the park or grocery store. Need comes to us in many ways, degrees, and forms. It may be as simple as having someone help you carry a box, or as involved as having a friend help you move house. You may find yourself requiring a hand with the household chores or revealing a new perspective for your company strategy. Or perhaps your need is truly profound; perhaps you need extra care during a time of illness or recovery. Maybe you just need a financial boost to get yourself back on your feet again after a streak of bad luck. The act of asking for help enables us to satisfy our needs, large and small, profound and trivial. Rather than waiting for it to grow in size or in significance, why not ask for what we need when we need it?

If we do find a way to send out a mayday cry, we often do it badly. Possessed by anxiety, our words become hesitant, clumsy, and inarticulate. Instead of clear, strong, and centered mayday signals, we broadcast garbled ones, bathed in static. That static is our fear. With so much emotional “noise” your potential helpmate may remember your fear and not your request.

Making that request, not knowing whether your plea will be rejected, is bad enough. But actually having to relinquish control and let another care for us can be equally disturbing and uncomfortable. For many, accepting help can be devastating to their fragile egos.

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THE MAYDAY! PROCESS

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Some see asking for help and accepting it as two completely different circumstances, but asking for and receiving help are closely aligned. The worries and concerns that prohibit us from doing either are exactly the same. One reason why some refuse to ask for help is because they know they’ll have to accept it! Not only that, if we don’t ask for help, it may be forced upon us. Trying to avoid making the request doesn’t protect us from feeling that we will be viewed as weak, or that we will have to give up something in return for the help, or that we will lose something or someone if we take what is offered. Asking for help and accepting it go hand in hand.

The Mayday! Process

There is a way to lessen your fears of asking and receiving help. It is called the Mayday! process. Composed of seven steps, this model will allow you to send out a different kind of mayday signal. Rather than one complicated by fear, your call for help can be delivered from a position of strength, centeredness, and clarity of mind and heart. The seven steps are:

Before the Request

1. Name the need: Here you will learn about getting clear on your needs. You will also read about how important it is to remain unattached to your first guess for resolving them.

2. Give yourself a break: This step asks you to apply the powerful emotional state of self-compassion to your situation. You will never be able to freely ask for help unless you believe you deserve it. This step helps you understand your personal worth and encourages you to ask for what you need.

During the Request

3. Take a leap: This step supports you as you get ready to ask for that helping hand. Confidence that comes from faith is powerful enough to change your body as well as the words you use to form your request. With this vigorous emotional state in place, you will have the self-assurance necessary to take a leap of faith toward the help you seek.

4. Ask!: This step requires you to do it, to make the ask. The chapter that describes this step includes practical tips and suggestions for making your request a successful one.

After the Request

5. Be grateful: Gratitude is a life-altering emotion. It changes how you view your circumstances. It shifts your focus toward your good fortune and away from what may be wrong. Gratitude allows you to remain gracious and open regardless of the answer to your request.

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6. Listen differently: Once you’ve made your request, your only task is to listen carefully and completely to the response from your helper. This step explains why it is important to listen differently, not just to the words, but to the underlying emotional messages embedded in the response.

7. Say thanks: The final step of the Mayday! process is to say thank you—whether your helpmate agrees to help you or not. Say it, mean it, and say it again. Your helper will appreciate your gratitude.

Each step requires you to breathe deeply and consider both yourself and your helpmate. Awareness of yourself and others is essential to make this process work. In addition, the steps are more effective if you understand two anchoring principles. Both take advantage of the unappreciated power of our emotions. We have a tendency to ignore the emotional field, to dismiss our feelings. In doing so, we neglect to appreciate the ability of emotion to motivate us to act and to change our perceptions.

The anchoring principles will provide you with better insight into the concept of Applied Virtue. AVs are super emotions that will change you, your life, and your calls for help. Our fear wants us to believe one reality: that asking for help is too risky and not worth the energy. Applied virtue will show you a different reality: that the benefits of asking for help far outweigh the unlikely risks.

Application of these seven steps will lead you to experience a newfound stability and strength. They help you discover a sense of calm that will turn asking for help into a declaration of your value as a person, not just an acknowledgment of your frailty as a human being.

8

The Forgotten Benefits of Asking for Help

Why should we bother asking for help if it is so much trouble and causes so much fear? There are benefits that we have forgotten, that have lain buried beneath our egos and our fear. Need blinds us to what is possible and present right now. The act of asking for help reveals what we cannot see.

The moment we decide to make a mayday call, we trigger a transformative energy that shifts us from the status quo into the realm of possibilities. We start on a journey toward a better future. When we ask for help, there is a greater chance that we will not be alone on that journey. Each request for help will serve as an invitation to share life for a while.

The act of asking for help is not only an invitation, it is a declaration, an assertion that we are deserving of assistance. When we venture to ask for what we need, we learn quickly that we are not alone and that there are resources, friends, and partners available to help. Asking for help can also re-introduce us to the beauty and inherent strength of gratitude.

Probably the most obvious reason for crying mayday is that we might just get help. This can lead to a life of greater simplicity and ease. You might even have a better chance at achieving “work/life balance,” the holy grail of men and women everywhere who work and desire a life, too.

Reaching for that helping hand also stretches us beyond our current comfortable existence. It leads us into new and unexpected conversations and situations that test us and make us grow. Who knows what will happen when we present the question, “Will you help me?” We set in motion a series of events that few could have predicted. We automatically change our future from one of predictability to one of possibility.

More than anything, our mayday calls transform our relationships by illuminating the emotions that lie just below the everyday surface stuff of life. Our requests create the potential for new connections where there once were none. At the same time, they can deepen existing bonds and even destroy others. It proves to us that we are deserving of help, that we are not alone, that we are already recipients of countless blessings.

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Getting Ready

You are about to embark on an emotional journey, a process that may challenge you in different ways. Decide now to be open to the activities, questions, concepts, and principles. Doing so will make your trip a bit smoother. The following visualization may help you get started.

If possible, spend the next few moments preparing yourself for this journey. Sit quietly in your chair. Pull your shoulders back, opening up your chest cavity, and breathe. Allow yourself to take at least three full breaths, holding each at the top until you feel your heartbeat. When your body wants your breathing to return to normal, let it.

Imagine that you are boarding a boat or ship of some kind. The destination is still unknown, but that doesn’t concern you. You are ready for an adventure. Move forward to the bow of the boat and find a seat. Feel the soft lurch as the ship leaves the safety and familiarity of the dock. See before you a horizon of sunlight, sky, and blue waves. Feel the anticipation inside you as the boat moves ever forward.

Shift your attention to the lightly white-capped waves. They advance toward you ever so slowly. Each swell represents a lesson about asking for and accepting what you need. Instead of fearing them, feel curiosity about what it is they will bring to you. As you learn, you will ride, even surf, each wave. You will attempt to find your balance and keep your ship upright. You will also experience pleasant relief as your vessel survives the surge that accompanies each lesson. Some waves will be bigger than others, some will feel imperceptibly small. All of them have value to you.

Now breathe again, gently pulling yourself from this vision.

Asking for help is often our last resort, but it doesn’t have to be. Your mayday calls don’t have to be drowned out by desperation. Instead, they can be anchored in self-respect, confidence, and gratitude.

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Endorsements

Mayday! takes a mature look at the challenge of asking for help, puncturing the philosophy of independence that can so often create feelings of isolation instead of strength. A most thought-provoking contribution.”
--Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit

"Don't let your fears subconsciously derail your passions--reclaim your voice. Read Mayday! It's revolutionary!"
--Dr.Victoria Halsey, Vice President of Applied Learning, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and coauthor of The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You

"Mayday! Shows readers how to make the intimidating process of asking for help less daunting. In a conversational, inviting way, Klaver offers anecdotes and encouragement to show us how to ask for and let others help us when we need it. And, we all need it."
--Susan Abrams, author of The New Success Rules for Women: 10 Surefire Strategies for Reaching Your Career Goals pdate?

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