Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - September 2006

Asking for what you want

To get what you want, you must ask for it. Those who are in the sales profession quickly learn that an important part of the sales process is asking for the order. After all, if you never give the customer the opportunity to buy, you never make the sale. Workers in volunteer organizations must ask others, on a regular basis, to help out. Customers often find it necessary to ask for products and assistance. Employees ask for raises. Employers ask for certain jobs to be done. Prospective employees ask for employment positions. Students ask for information and clarification from their teachers. Teachers ask for the attention of their students. Friends ask for favors. Asking is an vital part of life.

Asking for what you want is essential to getting what you want. Yet it takes more than just asking. You must ask effectively. Though asking is essential, it is not magic. Just because you ask doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get what you’re asking for.

Effective asking is not pleading or begging. Nor is it demanding. Rather, effective asking comes from making your desires known, making them clear, making them understandable, and making them compelling. Asking is easy. Actually being effective in your asking, and receiving what you ask for, takes more effort.

The world does not owe you anything. Asking for what you want is not a matter of taking. It is a matter of negotiating and exchanging value for value. So let’s examine several strategies for effectively asking and then receiving what you ask for.

Know what you want and why

To ask effectively, you must first be very clear about what you want. To get what you ask for, you need to know what that is and be able to clearly communicate it to the person or persons you’re asking.

It is also important to understand why you’re asking for it. Knowing why will help give you the confidence and persistence to ask effectively. Knowing and understanding why will prevent you from wasting your credibility by asking for frivolous things or things you don’t even desire.

Take some time to clearly define in your own mind what you’re asking for and why. By challenging yourself in this way you may find that what you want is not really what you thought you wanted. Get clear about it before you ask, and you’ll save everyone a lot of time and trouble.

Ask the right people

To get the things you ask for, you must ask the people who are in a position to provide them. If you’re asking for a job, you must ask the person who is in a position to do the hiring. If you’re asking for a sale, you must ask a person who is in a position to buy. This seems obvious, and yet we often mistake mere willingness for ability. Just because someone is willing to grant your request does not necessarily mean that they’ll be able to do so. Asking those who are unable to meet your requests just leads to frustration and wasted time on both sides. So before you ask, make sure the person you’re asking is in a position to deliver.

Ask with confidence

Ask with confidence, but not with arrogance. If you for some reason feel unworthy of receiving what you’re asking for, that will show. So before you ask, make sure you’re confident about your request. The way to feel that you’re worthy


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—Ralph Marston