The Power of the Request

These days, I'm big on what I call "The power of the request." Meaning, if you want something, ask for it! Don't wait for someone to read your mind. Don't get resentful because you're not getting what you need. Don't ask for things in a veiled, circuitous way and then be upset when you don't get them.

I have a client who wants to become a better manager. She already has the trust and esteem of her staff and colleagues, but there are some things she wants to get better at. So she knocked on the CEO's door with a proposal for hiring me as her coach. And what do you think happened? Her CEO said yes! 

The power of the request works for leaders, too. I've seen leaders facilitate whole meetings when they want to get a point across to one person. They'll hold forth on "Having a better attitude when we answer the phone," and cross their fingers that the offending person got the point. How much better it would be to sit down with that employee and say, "I've noticed you've been short with some customers on the phone. I'm worried about what effect that's having on our reputation for good customer service. Will you work on that?"

And many of us could stand to ask for help more often, whether it's at work or in our personal lives. I've discovered I have lots of people in my life who are actually waiting to be asked. When I've made requests of them, our relationship has gotten stronger and more reciprocal.

If you're drumming up the courage to make a request at work, here's a few questions to think about:

1) What's my reason for making this request? What are my motives?
2) What exactly do I plan to say? How can I make my request simply, confidently, and in a personable way?
3) What will I do if I hear no? How will I maintain a good relationship with that person?
4) What will happen if I don't make this request?

Happy Asking! Drop me a line and let me know how it goes.