What is it? What is so hard about asking questions? Is it simply fear of not getting the wanted response? Or fear of what others may think of us for asking?
Here are some thoughts to reframe how you think about asking and reduce any hesitation you might have. “Asking” includes asking for favors, for help, for clarity, for a raise, or even just asking a question because you are curious.
Always ask. There is no harm in asking. Whether it’s for a letter of reference or for help carrying files from your office to the car, it makes sense to ask for help. Most people are helpful by nature but may be distracted or unaware of what you need. A simple direct request for help is easily fulfilled more often than not.
Know there’s no guarantee. If You Wanna Win, You Gotta Play. It’s like the lottery. You might not win when you play, but you certainly will not win if you don’t. When you ask something of another, be prepared. You may get turned down. They may say no. But the simple fact that you asked for what you need, immediately raises your chances of getting it. Now they know what you want. Take a shot. Your odds certainly improved by asking. Few people are good at mind reading! Just ask.
Keep Your Energy Unattached. If you make your request from an unattached and neutral place, you’ll be ready to deal with either response, a “yes” or a “no.” You will also know it’s ok either way. One prerequisite for asking is accepting this rule as truth:
EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY “NO” TO YOUR REQUEST,
EVEN WITHOUT OFFERING A REASON.
Deliver Your Message with Clear Intent. When making a request, check yourself. Be certain you’re good-spirited, direct, and clear about what you’re asking. Know in advance what you would like and how best to ask for it without demand, powerlessness, or expectation. Regardless of the response you get, be sure to express gratitude for their consideration.
There are many gifts to adopting this way of thinking. One is the number of times others will step up and provide exactly what you need. Another gift of the process is that by freeing up your mind to always ask and to accept a yes as well as a no, you will realize the process works in reverse, too.
You will be able to graciously receive requests from others, because you too are free to say “no” just as they are. It’s a win-win mind shift.
Begin asking for what you need rather than hoping others will figure it out, or feeling victimized and powerless because they don’t. The difference between hoping and waiting vs. asking and knowing is powerful. I can’t wait to hear your experiences!