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Just Ask

by Randall Craig on December 23, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , , ,

We ask others for things all of the time: on the job, with our families, and in the community. Yet, we aren’t always met with the response we want. How can we improve our odds?

1) Ask for something specific. If people don’t know exactly what you want, they will always decline. No one likes to agree to something that is vague or poorly described.

2) Ask someone specifically. If you ask a group, then you’re gambling that one person will put up their hand – and it may not be the right person. Why not ask the best person right at the outset?

3) Ask with their needs in mind. If you are able to tilt your request to take into account their needs and self-motivation, then you are more likely to get their enthusiastic buy-in.

4) Ask with a deadline. Without a sense of urgency, their response can be deferred indefinitely. Setting a deadline forces them to decide within your time frame, and also provides an opportunity for your expected follow-up.

This week’s action item: If you don’t ask, you don’t get – but how you ask will determine how much you get. This is true when you are asking for a donation, asking your family to do something, or asking something of your manager or staff. This week, before you ask anything of anybody else, go through this list.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)