How to Ask for What You Want and Get It

How to Ask for What You Want and Get It

I gave a talk last week to a few hundred people in Chicago called How to Ask for What You Want and Get It. I was happy with it and they seemed to be too! And I promised to let you in on my asking secrets once I had shared them with my friends in Chicago.

3 Essentials to Ask for What You Want… And Get It

Here are three simple but essential things I highlighted in my talk that may help you ask for what you want and get it.

  1. Never ask someone for anything unless you know how it will benefit them too. If you can’t figure out how it will benefit them, either you don’t know enough about the giver yet, or you shouldn’t be asking that person.
  2. Once you know how the giver will benefit from giving you what you want, you and the giver are in it together. You’re on the same side, figuring out how to make something good happen for both of you. (Think of being shoulder to shoulder rather than face to face when you ask!)
  3. Never try to make someone give you something. Instead, find a way to let them help.

When you feel squeamish about asking for something, it’s almost always because you haven’t figured out what’s in it for the person you’re asking. And really, you’re better off not asking until you have a sense of that.

Sometimes it’s easy to figure out. Other times it not so simple.

Sometimes there’s no good reason for the person you’re asking to give and you shouldn’t ask that person at all. Find someone else to ask who has something to gain. Or reconsider whether it’s something you really want after all.

3 Remarkable Paradoxes of Asking

Keep these three things in mind the next time you ask someone for something.

  • The more you push someone to give, the more they resist.
  • The more you consider the other person’s needs and desires, the more they’ll give to you.
  • Most everyone enjoys helping. But very few people enjoy asking for help.
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How do you feel when someone asks you for something?

One of the best ways of understanding how to ask people for what you want is to pay close attention to how you respond when someone asks you. Whether you’re asked for money by a street person or your children or partner ask you to help them with something, you’ll find — if you pay close attention — that you respond viscerally and rationally.

What does your experience tell you about how people might feel when you ask them for something?

Please share your experiences in the comments below or leave a comment on Facebook.