Just Ask – Why seeking support is your greatest strength..

Peer Group Support 
One of the reasons we are part of a peer group like BNI is for support. The support can be for personal or business reasons but that support can be crucial in getting us through a tough time or helping us to greater success. A question for the chapter, “if the support is there, why might we feel that we can’t ask for support when it’s needed?”

Some reasons might be…
1. We want to look strong and asking for help might look like we are weak. However, more and more these days, vulnerability is a strength.
2. We don’t want to be a burden to others. This is interesting because we know from BNI that there is a pleasure to be had in helping others.
3. We assume that others can’t or don’t want to help. Which isn’t our BNI culture. 

Question for the chapter:
Are there any others? {ask the chapter for suggestions}

Strategic Asking
To avoid feeling like you might be a burden to others and to ensure you receive relevant help, be strategic about who and where you ask. Some settings, like BNI, mastermind sessions, one to one mentoring etc naturally help each other.

However, informal support is just as important. Knowing you have someone you can call, someone you can check in with, and someone who can help can make a difference. BNI members often provide informal support to each other.

Question for the chapter:
“Do you have people that you check in with regularly, not just when it’s urgent?” {ask the chapter for examples}

Semantic Differential Questioning 
Say what? This is a technique that is useful when you want to build a supportive relationship with someone.

If you ask someone how they are, they will say “I’m fine, good or OK”, rarely will they answer it any more deeply as they assume you don’t want a real answer.

The key is to ask 3 times differently, i.e. “How are you? I’m good thanks..” “How did you cope with the last lockdown? It was OK”  Lastly, something like, “How did it impact you differently the last time?” In the last question, if they trust you, they will open up to you.

“Blessed are those who give without remembering and receive without forgetting” – A quote by Elizabeth Asqiuth Bibesco.

In other words … If you receive help, practice gratitude. It encourages others to give more and keeps us humble but give help without expecting thanks as some will surely be ungrateful!


  1. Splendid stuff Richard, many comments similar to those of a 12 Step program