At school any boy who inflicted a black eye on another would invariably use the same ‘justification’ – “He asked for it!”
At dinner tables, when children decide to perform the old stretch technique to collect the tomato sauce from the far end of the table, parents will generally interject with – “Just ask!”
When managers are caught out for purposefully withholding information, their lame excuse usually goes something like – “You could have asked you know.”
So maybe that’s it – we should all do more asking.
Are in the dark, ask for light to be shed …
Are always telling, ask for input …
Know all the answers, ask for feedback to test the buy-in from your team …
… “Ask and you shall receive”
Actually, it is not that simple.
Ask for an increase when you need the increase to lift your morale, and you won’t get one. With low morale your performance will not deserve an increase!! When you ask for your annual leave the day before you want to go, and it happens to be during the organisation’s pressure period, your request will be declined!!
So, it’s clearly not a case of “Ask and you shall receive” – it is all about how, when and why you ask – get these things right and there is greater chance of receiving.
These then are the simple lessons about asking that everyone should apply in their workplace:
- Ask – don’t always wait to be told.
- Ask in a polite manner – demanding out of a sense of entitlement gets backs up.
- Ask realistically – reflect before just asking for something.
- Ask at good times – timing is often a critical factor.
- Ask just in case – don’t always assume the answer will be no.
- Give – because … as you sow you shall reap.
Do you want a new challenge?
Do you have all the tools / resources you need?
Do you need new skills?
Do you need a barrier removed?
Do you receive the necessary support?
Do you know some way to get better results?
Do you know someone who needs your support?
If, after considering the above reflection, the answers point to you either waiting or expecting, rather just ask.
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect
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