How To Get What You Want- Every Time!
There’s something I do at the start of most meetings that often shocks those there. Some love it. Some hate it. It’s a recipe, though, for getting what you want- in business, and in life. Do you do it?
My current working day is filled with meetings- often 10 to 12 in a day. Some I set up. Usually, given my role, it’s others who have asked to see me- colleagues, potential partners, industry associates, general contacts. I have to move through them quickly, efficiently, and with focus and momentum.
So I often start meetings others have asked for with this question: “Before we begin, tell me this- if you had a magic wand, what would happen at the end of the meeting- what is it you want from me or want me to do?” It’s a concept I encourage all to embrace. Do it for yourselves. This is what I mean. This is the habit I encourage you- and me- to do a lot more of.
Boldly ask for what you want.
Cut through the crap, the long-winded preambles, vague indications, hints, evasive approaches.
Don’t be rude, pushy, nagging. Be grounded in reality regarding what’s possible and what’s fair. And only do it when it really, really matters to you- when it really counts. At those ‘big moments.’
But, all provisos and small print aside, do have courage. Do ask clearly, politely, respectfully, yet firmly- for what you want.
One of two things will happen when you do this.
1. You get what you want- or close to it.
You’re bosses or colleagues are not mind-readers. They are not thinking about you as much as you are thinking about you. So give them the very clear compass point. Make sure it’s a reasonable ask, achievable, worthy and fair. Maybe it’s on the edge a little, maybe you’re pushing it a step beyond the reasonable, but ask anyway. There is a very good chance you will get it, or most of it, given you’re in good shape as a brand and ‘value proposition’ to whomever you’re asking.
2. You won’t get it.
And that’s good too. Because what you do get is clarity. If you ask for something that you feel is fair and something you really want, and the person with the power to grant it says ‘no,’ then at the very least, you know where you stand. And it brings crispness and clarity to another conversation. You either suck it up- or you have a choice. Exit stage left. One door closes- many others open.
Here’s the point. Stop wasting time and angst. Have courage. Ask boldly for what you want. Do it elegantly. And be prepared to get a ‘no.’ That is progress too. One idea to help build the courage is have a clear plan on what you will say and do if you do get a ‘no.’ In this way, there’s no fear- no panic. You have a plan. You’re ready. Breathe deeply. Go forth.
There is of course a risk. I have seen people misjudge it (their ‘brand’ health and standing with their employer) to such an extent that when they boldly ask for something, they get a very negative reaction that brings to a head something there employer was kind of thinking of doing anyway. That’s brutal, but it happens.
If you trust your judgement, are level-headed, grounded, and have the courage of your convictions- then ASK. Good things come from it. And that’s from my heart. (It even worked out alright in the end for Oliver Twist, right!).