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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How To Ask For- and Get- What you Want

Asking for things that matter can be a challenge.

People fear rejection, they ask for too little, or they make it difficult for others to help them. As a result, many suffer in silence with less than they could have.

Here are four
considerations and seven steps that make it easier to get what you want.

Considerations

1. It begins with you

You must believe that you deserve to have good things. Some people reject themselves and thus never ask. Then they end up with less, or nothing.

2. It requires conversation

No one knows what you want until you tell them. Some people wait for others to give them things that they think they deserve or they imagine others owe them. Expecting clairvoyance never works.

3. It involves others

Asking is a human process. It succeeds through honest, respectful conversation. Often this involves finding ways to meet other people's needs first.

4. It determines everything

Right now, you have what you asked for. If you want more, you must ask to receive it. Even those who are skilled at asking could gain by making strategic requests.

Steps

1. Know what you want

This obvious step is essential. First make a list of what you want. Then go deeper to find why you want it and what you really want.
For example, if you want money, challenge this by asking why. Your answer might be to obtain the security, comfort, or influence that can be bought with money. Then explore if money is the best way to achieve these things. The point is: a clear understanding of what you want is the foundation for getting it.

2. Think big

Most people ask for too little. Thus, add some outrageous requests to your list. For example, last month I wrote Toyota a letter asking them to let me test drive the new plug-in Prius before it's released for public sale. The fact that you asked, makes your request a real possibility.

3. Identify who

Match your requests with people who can help. Then check reality. Make sure they can help you. Rejection happens because we ask the wrong people for the wrong things.

4. Identify why

People give because they receive a reward in return. Thus, identify how others can benefit by meeting your requests. Then pose your request in terms of their benefit.
For example, suppose you want to receive a raise. You might tell your boss, "I want to make your job easier by being a better employee. What steps can I take?"
If you're unsure of what others might want, engage them in a conversation to find out.

5. Welcome rejection

In some cases, rejection may be better than acceptance. The other person may be protecting you from a situation that would be harmful, such as a job where you would fail or a relationship where you would be miserable.
Rejection also leads to improvement. It challenges you to find ways to change your approach or revise your request.
And detach from the myth that people reject because of you. They reject because of themselves.

6. Seek alternatives

Turn every rejection into a request for something else. For example, ask for: a) suggestions on whom else to ask, b) advice on how to improve your request, c) a portion of your request, d) ideas on alternatives, or e) help with something else.

7. Be courageous

We must be willing to fail in order to succeed. Thus, begin with a goal, plan an approach, make the request, and then improve everything. The more you ask, the more you'll receive. And the better you'll become at asking for more. 









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