Asking for What You Want

I watched the news last week where Denmark was identified as one of the happiest countries in the world.  I found that laughintriguing and watched the program that included talking about Yoga Laughter.  Basically this is where people come to a yoga class and the instructor leads them in continued laughter.  Laughter is great for the body and the mind as it opens the lungs and creates endorphins like most good exercise.

I began to think of other ways people can be happier in life. As a coach, I hear my clients complaining many times about an event or circumstance they find themselves in.  One thing most people want is to feel in control at some level in their lives.  And when they don’t have it, they usually feel some sort of negative emotion.  In coaching, I remind clients if they want to be in control then they have to take control of the choices they are making and the relationships they create.

Learning to make requests of others and to ask for what you want can be very empowering.  Complaining and blaming will only create negative feelings. Practice this exercise with a friend – a very good friend.  Ask them to sit and listen to you complain for 10 minutes and then share with you how they are feeling.  Negative energy creates negative emotions.  Your attitude is a choice you can make – yes, it can be chosen but most people are used to just letting their emotions fly.

In order to have what you want in life, you must be willing to ask for it – or as I say, enroll people in accepting a clear request from you.  John Gray, noted author, became well known for his book Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus which helped people understand that each gender has certain characteristics on how they respond to situations.

One very important tool I coach clients around is the protocol for making a clear, complete request.  Here it is:

Step 1: Get very clear on what you want. You may even practice writing it down first.  Be specific.

Step 2: Prepare to be a committed speaker and share what you want. Find the right time to make your request and be clear whom you will make it to.

Step 3 : Have a committed listener – the person with whom you are making the request Be sure to have their attention. Do not do this while you are walking down the hall or dashing out for an appointment.  The person you are speaking to must have your full attention and you must have theirs.

Step 4 : State the conditions of fulfillment.  Exactly what you will have when your request is met.

Step 5 : State by when you want it – specifically.  For example, “tomorrow afternoon by noon.”

Step 6 : This is the most important part.  Wait for a response of either yes, no or a counter offer on time and

Many people do not take the time to make requests in this way and then complain because people do not give them what they want, in the way they want it, and when they want it.  Some people resist making requests because they are afraid that the person will say no. A “No” is good because then you have a clear understanding and expectations and it gives both people a place to negotiate a clear agreement.

Practice using this model in all areas of your life and you will be amazed at how much more responsive people are and you will certainly be getting more of what you want your life.

Warmest wishes, Barbara


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