Asking for What You Need

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretsky

Last month, Robin Christine wrote a guest blog about having “Courageous Conversations”.  She spoke about how those conversations can feel awkward and be messy, but the most important thing is to be committed to improving the space between you and the “other”.  This month’s blog is dedicated to the part of the conversation that can also feel awkward – Asking for what you need.

So often in relationships, we would rather not upset the other person, or we don’t have the nerve or the courage to ask something of another that we need.  It can feel hard or awkward to ask someone who knows us to do something differently, something new, or to show up in a new way.

It may be asking someone to include you in a meeting, to increase your salary or to promote you to the next level, to improve their performance on the job, or perhaps to put in extra time. Whatever the ask is, if you come from your heart and explain why you need this vs. objectifying the other person, you will find what you need is received in a much more tender way.

It may also feel difficult to ask someone you don’t know to do something that you need them to do.  A client of mine who had just hired her first direct report was so hesitant to seem too pushy or to ask too much of him that she ended up doing many of the tasks he was hired to do for the first few months!

Here are five tips on building the foundation for asking for what you need:

  1. Be willing to remember that the other is a person with feelings, desires, and needs – just like you.
  2. Be willing to be vulnerable and transparent in what you’re asking for and offer understanding of your why.
  3. Be willing to feel worthy enough of getting what you want or need.
  4. Be willing to hear no and not take it personally.
  5. Be willing to feel empowered in your knowing that what you need is available even if it means being different in the relationship.

If you don’t ask, you don’t allow the relationship to deepen.  Asking for what you need allows another to truly give.  In the giving is receiving.  Giving and receiving as one deepens the relationship. After all, isn’t that what we All really need.

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