The Magic Of Asking For What You Want

Published on June 5, 2013 by

I had an interesting conversation with my client Paula* yesterday. The week before had been tough at work, and she was down on herself for not “doing better.” Then, yesterday, Paula was in a much different place and told me about all of the great things that had happened in a week’s time. Curious, I asked Paula how she had turned things around.

Here’s what she said: “I asked my manager to give me more positive feedback on how I was doing – and I’ve been getting it now.” What a simple solution. What do you want? Do you want more consistent, positive feedback at work or home? Do you want more responsibility? Do you want a raise? Do you want someone at work or elsewhere to communicate more effectively with you?

If so, you can make magic happen just by asking. If you feel intimidated by the thought of directly asking for what you want, follow these guidelines:

Do it now. The longer you put it off, the most difficult it might become.

Make it specific. “I would like positive feedback twice a week,” will help others know precisely what they can do to help you.

Keep it positive. “I would like to meet once a month with you for continued coaching,” versus, “We don’t communicate often enough and I’m confused over what you expect from me.”

Expect success. Positive expectancy is powerful; believe others want to help you and you will be right more often than not.

Who knew getting positive feedback (or something else) was so easy? Ask for what you want now, be specific and positive, and then wait for the magic to happen.

*Name has been changed.

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