There’s no way out, you are going to have to raise your hand and ask for help. You look around for the teacher, maybe you can just make eye contact and somehow telepathically tell her that you need some extra help. No chance, she looks over, but doesn’t notice the plea for help in your eyes. You slowly raise your hand, hoping that no one else notices.
In the end, the solution is simple and it was worth that momentary embarrassment of effectively announcing to the entire class that you didn’t understand. After your teacher leaves, perhaps some of your neighbours surreptitiously lean over to ask you the same question. They didn’t understand either, but didn’t want to ask for fear of that same embarrassment.
Over time, my fear of asking for help has diminished considerably. I know that my friends and co-workers don’t judge me for not understanding something, and will usually go out of their way to help me understand it. Even outside of my own friends and colleagues, if I’m working with a new piece of software or a new gadget, I’ll happily call or email the support team to ask questions.
I always figure that, just like in school all those years ago, there are others with the same questions. Or, even if I’m the only one who is confused, the person on the other end of the phone isn’t judging me. In my experience, people who work in support are, just like your former teachers, genuinely keen to help you understand whatever it is that is causing you problems.
For example, I was recently trying to wrap my head around the specifics of how the new subheadings will work on the Quote, Sales Order, and Invoice PDF templates.1 As I always do, I went straight to our support team. Not only did they take the time to explain the ins and outs of the feature to me, but did it in such a way that I didn’t feel as though I was stupid to not have understood it the first time.
All in all, I walked away with a much better understanding of an important feature of our system, but also the knowledge that there is always someone there to answer my questions.
1. This, by the way, is going to be pretty cool. You’ll soon be able to group the products in the PDFs for Quotes, Sales Orders, and Invoices by sub-headings AND include subtotals for each group AND descriptions of those groups. Have a check here for details of how you’ll be able to add and control these features. This feature has only just gone into Beta, so keep an eye out for it in your next update.