How many times have you heard a “leadership guru” discuss the importance of saying “No” in terms of not filling your plate with so many duties that you can’t do any one task well? I like to think of that word – “No” – in a completely different way – as in, “Don’t give anyone else an opportunity to tell you, ‘No.’”
By that, how many times have you ever asked for, say, a meeting with an individual you respect only to approach him | her with: “I’d like to schedule a time to meet with you next week, but if that doesn’t work for you I completely understand …”?
STOP! That is just one example of how we sabotage our best efforts to succeed. Here you are, on a roll, full of confidence and moving forward with a request that could reap many rewards in the long run. And then you have to go and potentially blow it by giving the person on the receiving end of your request an “out.
I understand the value of being humble, and being realistic because, yes, it’s true that individual could give you a “no.” And, yes, that would be very disappointing and even sting a little. But, as I’ve mentioned recently, that “No” you may get is just fine. It sets you up to be better prepared to get a “Yes” the next time around.
And, how many times have I told you, “you never know what you’ll get until you ask!”?
In many ways, giving others an opportunity to turn you down is just a way for you to throw yourself out of the running because you don’t feel like you deserve that something good. Maybe you don’t think you are good enough. Or you don’t want to be rejected.
In this way, you’ve rejected yourself before anyone else can.
Whether our “ask” is related to a business opportunity, a professional advancement, or a mentoring relationship, we need to move forward with that prospect in confidence. Don’t send the message that your heart is not “in” whatever the ask may be, because those on the receiving end of that message pick up on that wishy-washy attitude. Instead, let this would-be business partner | mentor | ally pick up on your determination and your seriousness about said proposition.
Think about it: If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe in you? EARN the desired answer by at least writing or verbalizing the ask in such a way that there really is only one answer: “Yes!”