Art & Soul: The Art Of Well Being - "All You Have To Do Is Ask" Is Most Important Skill For Success

Jan 16, 2020

The "All You Have to Do is Ask" Journey Infographic
Credit Dr. Wayne Baker /

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the art of well being.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with author and University of Michigan professor Dr. Wayne Baker about ways to ask for help and how that can lead to co-creating solutions at work and in other parts of your life.

About "All You Have to Do is Ask" by Wayne Baker

"All You Have to Do is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success" by Dr. Wayne Baker
Credit Dr. Wayne Baker /

Imagine you’re on a deadline for a big project, and feeling overwhelmed. Or you’re looking for a new job, but can’t seem to get your foot in the door.  Or you’re facing a personal challenge, and just don’t know what to do. What do these problems have in common?  They can all be solved simply by reaching out to a colleague, friend, acquaintance, or wider network and making an ask.  Studies show that asking for help makes us better and less frustrated at our jobs.  It helps us find new opportunities and new talent.  It unlocks new ideas and solutions, and enhances team performance.  And it helps us get the things we need outside the workplace as well.  And yet, we rarely give ourselves permission to ask.  Luckily, the research shows that asking—and getting—what we need is much easier than we think.

Here, Wayne Baker shares dozens of tools—used at companies like Google, GM, and IDEO—that individuals, teams, and leaders can use to make asking for help a personal and organizational habit, such as:  SMART criteria for making an ask, “plug-and-play” routines that make requests a standard component of meetings, mini-games that incentivize asking within teams, and the Reciprocity Ring, a guided activity that allows people to tap into the giving power of a network.

Dr. Wayne Baker at the WEMU studio
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU


"All You Have to Do is Ask"

"All You Have to Do is Ask" - Asking-Giving Assessment

"All You Have to Do is Ask" Journey Infographic

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at