The Art of Asking
There are two things many of us aren’t,
- mind readers
- predictors of the future
You are nodding for this is widely known, “No, shit Sherlock,” I hear you cry.
While we know these two things to be true, it does not stop us from slipping into believing we can do both, on a daily basis.
Think about it. How many times this week have you assumed you knew why someone did something or how they would react if we asked them to do something? I’m guessing you’ve done it quite a few times, I know I have and I’m writing the blog.
Time and time again we fall into the habit of guessing and assuming rather than asking.
Why is that and what might happen if we do ask?
Why don’t we ask for what we need, or for help?
- Perhaps it’s because when we ask we feel we step into a vulnerable position.
Asking means we express to another that we can’t do it all.
- Or maybe asking makes us first have to stop and know what it is we want.
I think this is the masked reason why we often don’t ask, it’s because we don’t know what to ask for.
- Lastly we often don’t ask for something because we see it as selfish. We might feel that others may need the thing more than us, we don’t want to take up someone’s time or take advantage of their generosity.
My mantra is Clarity Is Kindness. This is how I try to turn asking into an art rather than a dreaded job.
Getting clear on what we want, asking for help or requesting the space to step forward on our own is all a form of kindness. It’s kind for us because it means we have more hope of getting the desired outcome and kind for those around us. They can choose to grant the request when they have all the information.
What might happen if we do ask?
I think this is often a barrier to use asking in the first place. What might happen if we ask?
One of two things is usual.
- We get what we ask for.
- We don’t get what we ask for.
Each of these outcomes has challenges and wins attached to them. We can’t put the genie back in the bottle, once we ask for something its is out in the open. We need to be ok with either outcome.
We need to be ok with getting the raise and not getting the raise.
Each outcome can lead to the next step you take. Each outcome gives you more clarity.
We need to be ok with getting the help around the house or not getting the help around the house. Again each outcome can lead you to the next course of action. While it can suck not receiving what you ask for, don’t let it be the reason you keep quiet.
While you don’t ask, you will continue to stay in the same state, not knowing and not receiving. It’s worth cultivating this art form so you can continue to take the next step.