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The power of the ask

Wednesday, November 11, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Angela Joyner

Asking for what you want is an empowering act that can have a positive impact on your life. But the power of asking for what you want depends on: 1. Knowing what you want. 2. Fully believing you deserve it. 3. Being prepared to accept the answer "no.” And 4, Having the communication skills needed for an effective request.

Related: Negotiate your salary with 3 magic words

What do you want?

Some wants originate from unmet needs in our lives. The need to be heard or for respect, expedience, validation and intimacy are things we may desire because of an unmet need elsewhere. Knowing what you need will help you be crystal about your request. It’s helpful to distinguish between needs that move us toward well-being and those that never really bring happiness, such as the desire for approval or to be right.

Believe you deserve It

If you think you can’t have what you want, take time to examine your limiting beliefs. Make a list of all the things you want and then write all the reasons why you believe you can't have them. Are these reasons really true? Have you made decisions about "reality" or made assumptions about others that keep you from even asking for what you want? When you ask people for what you want, you offer them the opportunity to contribute. Your mindset can wreak havoc on your belief. If you don’t believe that you deserve having your request fulfilled, others will have a difficult time as well.

Prepare for "no"

Asking for what you truly want honors your experience and brings you into deeper alignment with the essence of who you are. You connect with your own humanness and know where you stand. If you can prepare in your heart and mind to hear the answer "No," you can take the sting out of the potential rejection. Experiencing rejection can be very demotivating for some of us. Having asked, it may no longer be so important that you get exactly what you want. There is so much power in the act of asking, it is empowering in itself.

Effective communication

Tony Robbins says, "The answer is always 'No' if you don’t ask." True! But asking is more effective when you follow these guidelines for effective communication:

  • State your need clearly, followed by your request.
  • Ask for what you want in the present (not  "I wanted you to help me with the kids yesterday.")
  • Ask for what you do want, not what you don't want. ("I want you to spend time with me," not "I don’t want you to be at work so much.")
  • Ask in the form of a request, rather than a demand.
  • Detach from the outcome.

Remember that empowerment comes in the asking. When you ask for what you want, you have planted not only the seeds of better communication, but of more clearly knowing who you are, which is present in what you want.

Recognized by Black Health Magazine as one the "25 Most Influential African American in Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Health Food Industries," Angela Joyner is founder of The Wonder Loft LLC.

Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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