I was honored to contribute to “Women Asking”, a project filmed by Charles Gupton Productions, featuring over a dozen women leaders who were speaking at a monthly meeting for professional women in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area.

The interviews were actually filmed over a four-month period, and the end result was a short film (view here) capturing our advice to women about why it’s so important to ask for what you need to be successful.

Ask for What You Want

For me, asking for what you need is really about taking bigger steps – bolder moves – and stepping up into who you are.

Here are some golden nuggets of insight from some of the other participants:

Eleanor Reid: “If you don’t ask, you can’t achieve your goals. You can’t reach your full potential.”

Vandana Shah: “We’re conditioned to compromise, to ask for less than what we want.”

Sheila Ogle: “It takes a certain amount of courage to ask for what you want. Always feel confident and secure in what you’re asking for.”

Start the Conversation

In a Psychology Today article, author Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. says, “With such a large percentage of our lives spent requesting money,ID-10074910 special treatment, and favors from others, it would seem that we would all benefit from knowing the secrets from having our wants fulfilled.” When you stop and think about it, it’s so true – most of us do spend a lot of our lives asking for one thing or another – and responding to others requests to us.

That said, the next time you need to ask for something, start the conversation off right with these five key tips:

  1. First, write it down. Know what you really want or need by writing it down first. This can help you maintain the clarity you need to express yourself in the best way possible.
  2. Keep your request within reason. Think about what you’re asking for, and then consider who you’re asking. Try to gauge beforehand what that person can and will be willing to do for you.
  3. Don’t offer TMI. As Whitbourne suggests, “Find one reason to make your request, and give that the biggest play possible in order to ensure that you’ll get a positive response in return.”
  4. Be respectful. It’s easy to become so focused on our own needs that we lose sight of how another person is feeling. Pay attention to the other person – her body language and how she’s responding. If it seems like the other person is preoccupied or under stress, considering waiting until a better time.
  5. Lose your expectations. High expectations can also mean the lows of big disappointments. Even if the outcome isn’t what you hoped for, stay confident.

Remember, no single person gets what she wants 100% of the time. Start to see the experience of asking for what you want as an opportunity to grow – to learn more about yourself and those around you.

Need a little boost to help give you the confidence to ask for what you want? Sign up for my free e-series right here.


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