As a leader, you’re continually making requests. Your success depends on getting things done through others. So how good are you at making requests and getting what you want?
What if I told you that you could get significantly better outcomes from your requests? And that the reason you don’t isn’t because of the people you’re asking, it’s because of you.
In her new book, “Ask Outrageously! The Secret to Getting What You Really Want”, Linda Swindling provides some terrific insights into why we don’t get more from our requests and what we can do about it. Here are a few of the key points:
- Asking outrageously doesn’t mean being obnoxious or deceitful. It means getting outside of your comfort zone.
- Many of us don’t ask for what we want because we imagine the worst. We fear rejection or embarrassment. We don’t want to impose or provoke anger. Yet the outcomes are almost never as bad as imagined. And almost certain to be better than if we didn’t ask.
- Feeling nervous or apprehensive when making a request is normal. Acknowledge it for what it is. As Linda says, “You need to feel the fear – and then ask anyway.”
- Don’t avoid asking because you think you know the person’s answer. Let them make the decision, not you.
- Don’t make it hard for the person you’re asking. Be clear and specific about what you’re asking for. Make it easy for them to say yes and simple for them to follow through.
- Frame your request around the benefit to the person and to those they care about.
- It takes practice to develop good asking skills. Practice asking for what you really want in safe environments, like grocery stores or restaurants.
What would happen if you started asking for what you really want? Of your suppliers. Your employees? Your partners? Get out of your comfort zone, ask outrageously, and find out.
(You can get Linda’s book here.)
Make it happen.