Seven successful secrets to ‘just asking’
If you were to ask people to list the things they want to achieve and improve in their business, career or personal life, they would probably come up with a big shopping list of ‘wants’ and aspirations.
Fortunately, there is a two-word instruction, which if followed, can immediately bring us closer to success with all of these desires: JUST ASK!
These two simple words can change your life and are the ‘holy grail’ of personal and business success. The problem is that they appear so obvious, but are often personally challenging, embarrassing or uncomfortable and are ignored, forgotten or deliberately avoided for fear of rejection.
‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need’ – Rolling Stones
So let’s explore 7 hidden secrets to ‘just asking’…
- Be blunt – ask openly
The majority of people simply don’t ask for what they want – with the unsurprising result that they don’t get it.
You can and should ask blunt and openly – in the most appropriate and respectful way.
You are denying yourself massive opportunities, potential success and happiness if you don’t.
- Don’t assume the answer will be ‘no’
This is one of the biggest and most common traps. We have all been responsible for refusing to ask because ‘there’s no point’.
However realistic this may seem, this is no more than an excuse for your own lack of technique, comfort, or fear about asking the question. The one guarantee is, if you don’t ask – you will certainly not get what you want.
'Give other people the opportunity to say ‘yes’. Stop saying ‘no’ for them’ – Roger Ellerton
- What’s the worst that can happen?
Use this simple 3-part technique to help you overcome any hesitancy about ‘just asking’
- What’s the worst that can happen if I get a ‘no’? (write these possibilities down)
- What’s the best that can happen if I get a ‘yes’? (write potential benefits down)
- Do the benefits of getting a ‘yes’ outweigh the downsides of getting a ‘no’?
Once you’ve run through these questions, in the future, you probably won’t hesitate to ask!
- Think big – ask for the impossible
Very often, the things that we want most appear beyond our reach – so we don’t ask for them. The trick is to realise that other people frequently think the same as you!
The more attractive something is…the fewer people there will be with the personal courage to ask for it.
Because something is perceived to be either ‘big’ or ‘important’, others will likely fail to ask – leaving the possibility open to YOU. Be one of the few who ask. You might be surprised and get what you want.
- If at first you don’t succeed – ask in a different way
What do you do when you ask for something you want and get a ‘no’ response? Most people give up! And the reason behind this merely lies with the question ‘What holds us back more than anything else?’
The answer: Our failure to ASK for what we want…and our failure to ASK for what we want AGAIN if we didn’t get the answer we wanted first time around.
Understand and accept that a ‘no’ in response to a question framed in a particular way at one point in time doesn’t mean that it will be a ‘no’ forever.
Ask yourself two key questions:
- Why did I get a ‘no’?
- How can I ask differently next time?
- Ask for the reaction you want
People don’t necessarily ask for the reaction they want. Be specific about what you are after from the other person.
If you want someone’s blessing, a shoulder to cry on, approval, praise, practical advice, creative ideas, criticism, directions, an apology, more attention, a date, a meeting, a favour, a loan, help, a lift, a discount, more time … then ‘just ask’.
Be precise at the outset – state exactly what it IS you’re wanting. Don’t get frustrated about a person’s inability to read your mind!
TIP: This also works in reverse: ‘I’m really sorry you’ve had such a bad day. Do you mind me asking, are you looking for possible solutions or are you just wanting to get things off your chest?’
- Know what questions change moods
Questions are MORE than a way of obtaining information, or getting something you want. They also have the power to affect and change the way people feel.
Questions influence what people focus on, and their mood – so be careful what you ask!
- A positive question (e.g. ‘So, how do you like living in Manchester now?’)
- Will make someone search for a positive response, and more often than not, they will attach good feelings to the experience
- A negative question (e.g. ‘What do you miss most about your family?’)
- Will force their brain to search for negatives.
Be bold, be brave and ask for what you want an answer to. After all, 'The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge’ – Thomas Berger.
You might also be interested in
As Business Development Director for Creativedge Training & Development Ltd, my main focus is to drive and increase new business opportunities for Creativedge.
Creativedge are a leading 90 minute Bite-Size training specialist, with a portfolio of over 145 courses, we excel in creating bespoke courses,programmes and events to meet...