Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Ian Garner
Business Writer
4:00 AM 26th March 2022

Business Book Review: Go To Help. 31 Strategies To Offer, Ask For, And Accept Help

Go to Help, 31 strategies to offer, ask for, and accept help
Deborah Grayson Riegle and Sophie Riegle
Published by Panoma Press.
ISBN-13: 978-1784529642

Mother and daughter team: Deborah Grayson Riegle and Sophie Riegle, co-authored this book to highlight the need to offer, ask for, and accept help from others which they contend is vital to both our physical and emotional survival.

Deborah Grayson Riegle (the mother) teaches leadership communications at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and also at Columbia Business School, New York. She regularly writes for titles such as Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today and Forbes.

Sophie Riegle (the daughter) is a Sophomore at Duke University, a mental health advocate and has authored books on the topic in her own right as well as co-authoring with her mother.

The book is set in two parts.

Part one: “Why offering, asking for, and accepting help is hard” discusses the prejudices and misconceptions commonly held about helping or being helped and discusses a number of innovative approaches that can improve your relationships at home as well as at work.

Part Two: “The help strategies”, as the name suggests, introduces the ‘31 help strategies’ mentioned in the title. This part provides strategies to use, along with hints, tips and tools for the reader to try in their day-to-day life.

I found the book to be very comprehensive with a multitude of examples to consider. It is written in a very ‘chatty style’ for a business book and tries to help the reader relate to the challenges, some conscious and some unconscious, that are hidden inside our inner self.

The book is full of personal anecdotes: friends, family and the authors themselves. They give an example experience, analyse the situations and describe the outcomes, sometimes good and other times bad. This makes the book an easy read on quite a complex concept.

There are regular summaries to make it easier to understand the authors' key points from each of the various chapters. These include a section to review and reflect, a bit of homework if you like.

Deborah and Sophie present 31 ways offering to help your friends, colleagues and family members, not forgetting to as the reader what he or she also need.

These are grouped into five subsets:

Get curious
Offer support
Give direction
Plan & execute
Evaluate and celebrate

The subsets are discussed in turn and each strategy is numbered in case you miss them. I found this a bit patronising but I guess it’s intended to be helpful.

I enjoyed reading the book. Its style is very relaxed and felt like it was written with me in mind rather than some heavy tome, replete with theory, concept and hypothesis.

I did feel that they ‘go on a bit’ with probably too many instances and examples as they pad out the book to some considerable length but that may be my short attention span rather than a criticism.

The ‘afterword’ section at the end of the book asks a few questions for the reader to consider, as well as seeking feedback. I like this approach because it made me as a reader feel that I had been attending an interactive seminar rather than an instruction manual and it gives a genuinely nice, individualised touch.

If you really want to consider the topic at great length, learn the lessons and find the answers, this book is certainly for you.

Ian Garner
Ian Garner
Ian Garner is a retired Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI) and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD). He is Vice Chair of the Institute of Directors, North Yorkshire Branch. He is founder and director at Practical Solutions Management, a strategic consultancy practice and skilled in developing strategy and providing strategic direction, specialising in business growth and leadership. Ian is a Board Member of Maggie’s Leeds. Maggie’s provides emotional and practical cancer support and information in centres across the UK and online, with their centre in Leeds based at St James’s Hospital.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) is the UK's largest membership organisation for business leaders, providing informative events, professional development courses for self-improvement, networking and expert advice. The IoD North Yorkshire Branch has members across Harrogate, York and the surrounding towns and is reaching out to business leaders, of large and small enterprises, to help their businesses succeed.