Many of us go through life wanting things to be different. It could be the girl that you wanted to ask out on a date, a better deal on the car you want to purchase, or the promotion you believe you deserve.
The problem is that many of us do not ask for what we want.
I was meeting with a client the other day and we were talking about a couple of job offers he was deciding among. One was an offer from an employer who he really wanted to work for. The offer was low, the hours were not ideal, but the job was with a company he really respected and felt passionate about. There was a second job offer that was significantly more money, better hours, but from a company he was not as comfortable with.
The client told me the decision felt like it should be simple. He should take the job with the better pay and better hours. We talked about how this could improve the quality of his life with better hours and bring greater financial stability. The more we talked, the more uncomfortable he looked. I asked him what would be his ideal situation. He told me he wanted the other job to have better hours and better pay. There was only one way I could respond to this: “So why don’t you ask for it?”
So many times I find that individuals I work with know exactly what they want. Often the one thing that stops them from obtaining it is the fear of asking. There are a series of steps that we can run through to help us ask for what we want:
Clearly determine what is important to you: Do you know what you want? Do you know why you want it? These are two simple questions that you should be able to answer no matter the circumstance. Often I find that completing a “Decision Matrix” in session with a client helps answer these questions. If you do not have the answer to these questions, you need to remain at this step.
Make your plan: What steps can you take to reach your goal? Who can you ask to help you? Who do you need to talk to about your goal? When is a good time to ask your question? This is the detail phase. Cover as many small details as you can.
Practice: You know what you want, why you want it, and what the details are around your request. Practice asking for what you want with a friend, spouse, or anyone you feel will give you honest feedback.
Ask for what you want! Take a deep breath, and put your plan to action. You practiced and are ready!
Just because you ask for what you want, does not mean it will always happen. However, I believe it is always better to have tried and been told no, then to have always wondered what would have happened.
In case you’re wondering about that client, he reached out to the company with the lower offer and told them how much he respected them. He informed them of the better offer and what he was looking to be paid and the hours he wanted to work. The company told them they would get back to him. Later that day I received an email from my client informing me that the company not only matched the offer, but also was willing to make accommodations to his schedule.
What do you want to change? What are you looking for to be different? Review the steps above and take your chance. Maybe you’ll receive what you want, too.