How NOT to Ask a Favor

Of course, you would never be guilty of reaching out to a mentor or colleague for a lunch date, only to note that you’re only available X and X days out of the entire month. Or that you’ll be in the next suburb over (might as well be on the moon) and said individual will have to come to you.

Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Or at least a compromise?

I got to thinking about how people (unwittingly) make it difficult on the individual they’re asking a favor of the other day, as I was reading Lindsey Nobles’ blog … a post aptly-titled “Make It Easy.”

I could relate. Whether it’s a mentor you’re looking to connect with, a colleague, or a prospective client or employer, it’s very good form to be as considerate and accommodating as possible, to “make it easy” for the other party to connect with you.

I’ve been in situations where recent graduates or entry-level professionals have asked for my time — only to be unbending when it came to appointments that would fit my schedule.

I don’t expect everyone to go out of their way for me. Not at all. Plus, having the opportunity to chat with and share advise with emerging leaders is incredibly rewarding and meaningful to me.

Unfortunately I, like Lindsey, am sure there have been times when I’ve inadvertently made things harder on my mentors or colleagues than ought to be. We all get wrapped up in our own, busy, day-to-day lives that sometimes we don’t think things through … sometimes we are scrambling just to book appointments that we don’t always take the person on the other end of the line into account as much as we should.

Big no-no.

After all, there is nothing more irritating than being asked a favor, only to have to run over fire or jump through Hula Hoops to actual DO the favor!!

At the very least, especially since you’re doing the asking, you need to select a time (and place, if the situation warrants it) that works for both parties – not just you and your busy schedule.

I’ve talked about what networking is – how it can be a lot of different things and doesn’t have to fall in the narrow, traditional models that have long been known.

It’s a tough world out there. Why not make interacting with you apart of said person’s day that isn’t a challenge?

By being considerate of your mentor or contact, you’ll earn many more favors in the future.

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