top of page

BLOG

IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW YOU ASK

Updated: Dec 5, 2022


No matter how talented a person may be, there are limits to the capabilities of any one individual. You can't accomplish a big project, for instance, without enlisting the cooperation of ten or even a hundred companions. But despite knowing this, many people still find it difficult to entrust tasks to others or ask for help.


These people may think that doing everything themselves is much less stressful than getting nasty looks or walking on eggshells when asking others to do something for them. But they struggle to keep their heads above water, bearing the brunt of the job alone. What do their coworkers make of such a person? They can only conclude that so-and-so is never satisfied unless they do everything themselves.


When you enlist the aid of another, it's an opportunity to give them the joy that comes from being trusted and valuable.

What’s important is how you ask for their help. Just by the way you ask, your request can either be an encouragement that inspires people or a demand that demoralizes them by making them feel coerced.

Konosuke Matsushita (1894–1989), the founder of Panasonic, wrote in his book Not for Bread Alone: A Business Ethos, A Management Ethic, "Perhaps because I had very little formal education, I am prone to admire others for their achievements and skills. I trust my employees for what they know and what they have. So when I want to get something done, I tell one of them, 'I can't do it, but I know you can.' Someone who knows he is trusted tries to do his best and eventually succeeds." 


Trusting someone and enlisting their help is also a way to practice revering others' buddha-nature.


Nikkyo Niwano

Kaiso zuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing, 1997), pp. 256-257