The Power of the Ask

My friend, Will Clower posted a brief video of his radio request to the Cunningham Draw Bridge (North Carolina) operator to open the draw bridge so that he could take his sailboat out into Pamlico Sound.

The request: “Cunningham Bridge, this is the SV Amari requesting opening outbound.” Then a voice returns on the radio, “Roger that Cap’n, we’ll have one ready for you.”

Then, like magic, traffic stops, the Bridge roadway goes up and Will and his crew boat on through.

If only all our requests were met with such agreeableness and ease.

Asking others to help us can be challenging. We don’t like to impose or inconvenience other people always thinking that is it a great imposition to help us.

The truth, however, is that most people want to say yes because giving to others helps ourselves. Research shows that giving aid lowers blood pressure, creates a great sense of personal well being and gives us a sense of purpose for our lives.

Being resilient is about gaining more success with ease. Knowing how to make “The Ask” gives us a good chance to get more of what we want, while we are helping others. Here are three ways to get more:

  • Know what you want: The biggest barrier to success is knowing what we want. Specificity allows others to know exactly how to help us and makes their job easier.
  • Fearlessness: Even if most people know what they want (and they usually don’t) there is the great fear of rejection. The worst thing that can happen is that you get a “no.” Your life will probably not be threatened.
  • Be flexible: Okay, you may not always get what you want so having some B and C options allows you to practice the lost art of negotiation.

No one does anything done by himself or herself and the power of “The Ask” ensures that we get the right people on our side. Just be ready when you start getting more of what you want!

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018

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