3 C’s of Asking

Read the Previous Article, “The Power of An Authentic Request”

Hey there everyone!!

Does asking really work? Is it “that” simple?

What gets us to ask in the first place? We ask because we have a desire, and we believe that our desire may get fulfilled upon our asking. What stops us from asking? We don’t ask because we don’t think our request will be answered, leaving our desire unfulfilled. It makes sense. Why would we want to invest in something (making a request) that we don’t believe in (getting an affirmative response)?

The fundamental reason we hesitate to ask for something is because we think we won’t get what we want. In fact, if we knew that our requests would get accepted, we’d ask for things all the time. We would feel like a child in a candy store, picking and choosing everything to our heart’s content. So, how do we raise our level of expectation? How do we get ourselves to believe that we’ll get what we want? We’ve got to get good at asking. Let’s learn how to get better results from our requests…

1. Make Your Requests Clear

If you want to improve in something, then learn about it and have it be part of your conversations. “Can you help me with my home renovations?”
That request can mean many things. Some people might think you’re talking about taking measurements and shopping for supplies. Others may think you’re talking about doing sawing and drilling. What’s worse is that somebody may decline our request, thinking we wanted X, when we really wanted Y. Consider a more specific question, like “Would it be possible to spare three consecutive hours within the next couple of weeks to assist me in repainting my garage?” If you’re familiar with S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, affirmative/action-oriented, realistic, time sensitive), then SMARTen your requests, too.

2. Make Your Requests Concise

A long detailed request may never even get read. We’ve got to respect other people’s time, and state our requests in a timely fashion. Initially, Karen (a subscriber) gave me about three paragraphs of text to help promote her. Honestly, I didn’t want to spend the time trying to figure out how to shorten or compact Karen’s text AND… I wanted to stay committed to supporting people in our community. After a couple of e-mails, I got Karen to submit something much shorter.  Karen stayed committed and was able to see my commitment, too..

3. Make Your Requests Compelling

What’s in it for them? About a month ago, I had a speaking opportunity in Brantford, Ontario. It is impossible to get to Brantford by public transit (at the specified speaking time), so I needed a ride. I could have called up a friend and said: “Can you drive me to a speaking engagement?” Would that request be compelling for them? Instead, I asked: “Would you like to see my popular Timeless Truths in Time Management presentation for free and get a dinner out of it too?” Perspective changes everything. I put myself into my friend’s shoes by considering what he would get by honoring my request.

If we make our requests clear, concise, and compelling, then people are more likely to honor them. The more people that honor our requests, the more requests we’ll make in the future. It’s a cycle — a great cycle. Get in this habit and increase the ratio of your accepted requests.

Let’s love the world together…

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary