All You Have To Do Is Ask

Save time and money, by asking

  • The book gives countless examples of how simply asking for what you need saves time and money. I specifically love one of the examples about how someone in one department of a company was able to handle some work from another department at the same company for free, saving the tens of thousands of dollars they were planning to spend outsourcing.
  • Simply surfacing our need allows others to know that our need exists. If we don’t say anything, someone who could easily help us may never know that we need help. As Wayne says “asking is the catalyst to the giving-receiving cycle”.
  • Have you ever worked on something for hours, beating your head against the wall, only to have someone look over your shoulder and show you a trick to make whatever you are doing quick and easy? The next time this happens to you, just ask. I bet someone you know has experience they’d be more than happy to share.

Foster a culture of asking in your organization

  • Wayne’s data shows that people grossly underestimate the willingness and ability of others to help. Do you assume that others don’t have time or ability to help you? But at the same time, I bet you’re more than willing to help others, right? Flip the script for yourself and remember that others are just as likely to provide help as you are, and that if helping others gives you the warm fuzzies, the likelihood that it does for others is also high.
  • Remember that asking increases others’ trust in you. Who are you likely to trust more? The person who seems to have an answer for EVERYTHING? Or the person who is willing to ask if they don’t know something. For me, it’s definitely the latter.
  • The next time you’re in a meeting, and you need help, ask! When others see you ask, they will feel more comfortable asking for what they need. You will have been the catalyst for the giving-receiving cycle.

Make asking, and giving, easier

  • Make your request as specific as possible; the more someone knows about your request, the easier it is for them to make connections in their own brains to info, or people, that might be able to help you.
  • Give “due dates” for your requests; due dates encourage action.

Set up an informal “reciprocity ring”

  • I bet you’re in at least 1 group or team. Maybe you have a book club, or a recreational basketball team, or a fantasy football league, or even just your team at work.
  • The next time you’re all together, ask each person to think of 1 thing they need help with, no matter how far-fetched, or whether they think anyone will actually be able to help.
  • Then go around the room, ask the question, and see if the rest of you can provide help, information, contacts, etc.

Originally published at on January 20, 2020.



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