When we’re at work, we all want to be viewed as super-competent and all-knowing. We don’t want our bosses or coworkers to know if we feel unsure of how to proceed on a certain task or project. No one wants to appear to be confused, inexperienced, or unintelligent.

So what do we do when we don’t know what to do? We often search for the answer online. Or we stumble around, doing the best we can. We generally don’t do what we really should do – ask for help.

It’s uncomfortable to ask other people for help. It feels like you’re admitting to having a certain shortcoming or weakness. But actually, asking for help when you need it is often the best course of action, because it accomplishes two things:

  • You’ll get some assistance – Asking your knowledgeable boss or coworker for help when you’re not sure how to proceed will help you to get the answers you need and get your work done right.
  • Your bosses and coworkers will think you’re smart – Researchers have found that when people ask questions, they’re not viewed as being unintelligent or unqualified. They’re actually viewed as being smarter! Bosses and coworkers feel good about themselves when people come to them for help. And they view the people that they’re helping in a positive light.

So go ahead and ask for help when you need it! Not only will you be more confident and productive, your bosses and coworkers will also think you’re extremely smart. It’s a win-win situation!


Liu, Caroline. (n.d.). The stupid easy way to make people think you’re smarter. The Muse. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-stupid-easy-way-to-make-people-think-youre-smarter?ref=carousel-slide-0