What’s the secret to getting what you want? Ask. We don’t get what we don’t ask for. It sounds so simple and yet, for many of us, it is so hard.
Several years ago, I was taking my husband’s nephew to school. Like millions of families in the U.S., we had custody of a family member’s child for a number of years. So, his family life prior to moving in was dramatically different than our children, to whom he was close in age. Zach asks me, “Lauralee, why did you let Hayley spend the night with her friend on a school night?” My answer was simple. “She asked.”
We drove another 10 minutes. He finally pipes up again. “I’m not allowed to spend the night with a friend on a school night.” It was my turn for a question. “How do you know that?” He sat there, thinking. As we pulled into the school I turned to look him in the eyes and said, “Zach, you do not get what you do not ask for. If you want something in life, you have to start asking. What’s the worse thing that happens? They say no.”
How many times have you assumed the answer was no?
For me, a lot. Matter of fact, I did it last week. I was talking to my business advisor about idea I had for growing our practice this year. When I shared my thoughts on why it would not work, she said “how do you know that?”. Like, Zach, I sat silently. I didn’t know if it would work or not. I assumed the recipient of the “ask” would say no.
I can’t remember a time when someone I know, like, and trust, asked me to help them and I said no. I’ve been asked to make an introduction, open a door for a career opportunity, make a referral, write a recommendation, write a review and so on. I’ve done all of those things for people I know, like, and trust.
Why don’t we ask?
If we know, we don’t get what we don’t ask for. Then, why don’t we ask? For the promotion. A flexible work schedule. For a referral. The raise. To open a door of opportunity. We do not go for the no, we only go for the easy yes.
Go For The No and Land A YES
Here’s my list of questions to encourage me to go for the no and land a yes:
- Have I done my homework? This is to ensure I’ve done the research or educated myself on whatever it is I’m going to ask for from someone. For example, if I’m going to ask for a warm introduction, did I research those I seek to be introduced.
- Do they have the ability or authority to say yes? A quick no will come from someone that doesn’t have the ability to say yes. If they don’t know the answer, connection, or don’t have the power to say yes. Why bother asking?
- Am I asking with humility? This one is simple, don’t be a jerk. If I ask for a discount at my favorite store, I have a choice to ask like a jerk or ask with kindness.
- If asked this question, would I do it? If I’m not comfortable doing it for someone, then I can’t ask someone to do it for me.
Lets get real. 2020 has thrown us a virus, murdering hornets and a crummy 401k. Lets all just go for the NO together! I bet you, we land a bunch of yeses!
Share a story with me of when you went for a no and got the yes! I’m looking forward to hearing about it.
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