You Won’t Know Unless You Ask

by Betty Lochner on May 9, 2013

Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers.  ~ Jack Canfield, Success Coach
Maiya, always good at The Ask

I am always amazed at how easy it is to make things happen in your life if you just ask for what you want.

Asking is a powerful communication skill that most of us are shy about using. Of course the classic example is men and directions, but not asking when you could or should happens to all of us. Every day. We make things harder than they need to be, or we don’t get to do what we want because we simply don’t have the courage to make the ask.

So why don’t we just ask?

For most of us, it comes from not being comfortable – we feel we are imposing, or being rude, or we are afraid the answer will be “no.”  Sometimes that’s true, but most of the time having the courage to ask for another size, a different price, an opportunity to speak, or do a new project pays off big.

 It feels easier and safer to just go with the flow and assume that things are the way they are. Think of all the things you may be missing out on because you just don’t ask!
  • Ask for what you need.
  • Ask for what you want.
  • Ask people who know you well.
  • Ask complete strangers.

You won’t know until you ask.  Here are three tips:

1) Be bold. Get your courage up. If you are nervous, then practice. Be prepared to go a little out of your comfort zone.

2) Make the person(s) you are asking feel important. Give a compliment, or take notice of something they are doing (or did). Be polite, respectful and smile.

3) Be clear and direct. Make sure you get to point in a kind and respectful way. Then, after you’ve ask, pause and listen to the answer.

If it’s, “No”, then ask why or how you could make it happen in the future. Keep asking until you get the answers.

When it comes to making the ask, it’s always your move.


Betty LochnerBetty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training.  She is also the Director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition Program. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips.  Both are available on

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