You Don’t Know if You Don’t Ask
I want to share a success story of someone with whom I’ve worked. He had been frustrated with the “red tape” he was dealing with at work. He wanted additional responsibility and had already demonstrated his capacity to take on more. His problem was that every time he wanted to make a decision involving large amounts of money, he had to wait for approval by a committee, whose verdict he would often not receive until long after it was relevant.
He complained about these circumstances for some time, attributing it to the “powers that be” within the company. He then decided to see if HE could do something to change it, and came up with a very specific, simple strategy…which is exactly why it worked.
He decided to send a request to the committee that traditionally weighed in on these issues. He chose to ask that he be given discretion up to a specific amount of dollars, an amount he had proven himself to deal with effectively and appropriately on countless occasions.
And then he did something more that was so smart, and yet so simple. He walked into his boss’ office (his boss was separate from the committee) and let him know of his intention to send the email. He did not open the subject up for discussion; he just let his boss know what he was about to do. He then said to him, “After I send my note, I just ask that you do one thing. Simply reply all (to those on the committee) and state that you are in support of my request.” His boss agreed.
He sent the email and his boss quickly replied to all with a very simple message of support, probably no more than a sentence or two. Within a short time, ALL the committee members replied that they too supported giving him greater discretion to make decisions with regard to the higher limit he set for himself…a unanimous response in less than two hours. This type of vote would normally require being put on the next committee meeting’s agenda, meaning it could have taken a month to receive an answer.
He was amazed at what he had accomplished. He had never before tried another way. He, like most employees, simply adhered to the way things were traditionally done.
Here’s why this person’s request worked:
- he came up with a simple strategy
- he found a means of support
- he did not leave room for discussion
- he spelled out exactly what he needed/wanted from others.
His plan consisted of an email, that’s it, inviting a YES. He asked his boss to provide a vote of confidence and told him exactly what to say. His boss did not need to think about how to craft his response. It was spelled out for him, and he obviously agreed with the validity of the request.
He did not invite discourse. By setting his own limit on his future responsibilities, he did not leave it to others to decide or debate.
Keeping things simple and being so specific about what he wanted made it easy for others to say YES to him.
By taking this action, he rediscovered his sense of power, enabling him to greatly reduce his level of frustration and renewing his spirit to do great work at his place of employment. The worst thing that could have happened is that he might have been told NO; however, his situation would have been no different than it was currently.
Where is the power within you?
You don’t know the answer to your request if you never ask. Someone might say yes to you as well. What would happen if you asked precisely for what you want? Is it possible that it need not be as complicated as you may have imagined?
Ask for what you want and share your success stories with me! If you need some assistance in getting started, contact me for a free 30 minute coaching strategy session. Call (973)343-6287 to schedule.
Laurie Leinwand is a Certified Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.
One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce. If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently. She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents. Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult. Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.
Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.