Transforming Your Ask
How to be more effective in making requests
We all need to ask for things.
When we go to a restaurant, and want to eat, we must place our order.
When we need the support of friends, we need to ask them for what we need.
When we feel we’ve gone unrecognized in our jobs, we need to be able to speak up and ask for that raise.
The question is — how effective do you feel your ask is?
Do you always get what you want, the response you’re looking for, the resources you need to be able to complete a situation or project?
Or do you often find that your asks go unnoticed? Does it seem like they aren’t heard or responded to?
When we try to increase the effectiveness of our ask, we often try:
- Rehearsing and polishing our request before making it
- Being tricky in our communication, as if we were duping others into responding positively
- Convincing and coercing others to go along with our request
- Building up our “relational capital” so that when we make an ask, others feel obligated to respond
- Reading books about winning friends and influence and turning it all into rote techniques
- And so on
All this strangeness occurs because we are usually expecting a “no.”
And when we do get a “no,” we blame it on our looks, our unreasonableness, the specific way we asked, and a whole host of other things that fundamentally would have made no difference in the response we got.
So, we need to think differently about asking, and it’s simpler than you might think.
The first step to transforming your ask is to begin expecting a “yes” instead of a “no.”
That’s going to seem odd at first. Backwards even.
But that just goes to show you that either a) you’ve never done it this way before, or b) you have little practice with it.
When you go in expecting a “yes” instead of a “no,” it changes the way you communicate. And when the way you communicate changes, it transforms the hearing of others…