Although the title is about asking your boss for something you can apply the same elements to a co-worker, friend, or family member. The seven elements below increase our interpersonal effectiveness when asking our boss, or anyone for that matter, for something we want or need. Master them and when you ask, you will receive.
Let’s say you need an increase in your budget for an event that you want to plan. Here are seven elements you can incorporate to increase you chances of getting what you are asking for.
1. Explain Specifically
Stick to the facts describing what you want, need or are asking for.
Example: “I would like to do an event for parents this Spring and need a small increase in our budget in order to do the event.”
2. Express Feelings
Use “I” statements when you speak taking ownership of what you are asking and expressing your feelings about the event. It’s hard to argue with “your feelings.”
Example: “I feel this event would make a huge difference in the lives of the parents and families that attend.”
3. Emphasize Reward
Make sure your boss knows what they are getting out of it. Let them know that what you are asking for benefits them! Be specific.
Example: “Not only will it help families but it will give you an opportunity to connect with a few influential people who I know will be there.”
4. Exemplify Confidence
Body posture, eye contact and tone of voice are all available resources for you so use them to appear confident in your request. If you don’t believe in what you are asking for you can’t expect anyone else to either.
Example: Maintaining eye contact and with an upbeat voice be energetic in your speech. these are all signs of confidence. Be assertive and passionate not aggressive and pushy.
5. Eliminate Distractions
Stay focused on what you are asking for. One topic, one meeting, one ask, one thought, one goal. You may even want to rehearse your ask before your meeting so you feel confident and comfortable when you are in the moment.
Example: “I know I have asked for a budget increase before and didn’t get it so I really hope you can approve this request…” Getting off track in this way is setting you up for failure.
6. Explore Options
When asking for your budget increase be specific and ready to negotiate this will mean you have explored a few different options or scenarios prior to your conversation. Let’s say you are asking for a $500.00 budget increase for the event. After speaking with your boss they simply says “no” and “have a nice day.” No, doesn’t mean no. Your boss said “no” to the $500.00 but maybe they would say yes to $250.00! Don’t make your request about yes or no make it about how much!
Example: “I understand that you are saying no to the $500.00 request but would it be ok to explore $250.00 for the event?”
7. Exhibit Thankfulness
At the end of your conversation you will leave with a favorable response or a not so favorable response. Regardless of the response remain thankful. If the answer is a flat out “no” thank them for their time and leave with an attitude of gratitude. The next time you approach your boss they will remember your attitude and may give you a more favorable response. Something to think about.
Do you need to ask your boss for something in the near future? What is it?
When asking for things in the past which element has been the most difficult for you?