If you are like many of the clients I work with in my 1:1 coaching sessions, asking for what you want is a challenge and often right up there on your list with going to the dentist. In other words, you know you really need to…you just don’t WANT to.
Well, here are seven sure fire action steps you can take that will make it easier to ask for what you want AND get it.
A quick way to remember these skills is by using the acronym DEAR MAN.
It stands for:
Mindful (stay mindful)
To make this more clear, let’s go through each skill one-by-one.
Describe the current situation (if necessary). It’s important to stick to facts, of course, but you need to tell the person exactly what you need and what you’re reacting to.
Express ‘your FEELINGS and OPINIONS about the situation. It’s important you don’t assume that your feelings and opinions are already clear. Use phrases such as “I want” or “I don’t want” instead of phrases like “I need” or “you should” or “I can’t.”
Assert yourself by ASKING for what you want or SAYING NO clearly. It’s crucial that you don’t assume people can read your mind. Assume that others will not figure it out unless you clearly ask. And, don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.
Reinforce or reward the person ahead of time by explaining CONSEQUENCES. Tell the person the positive effects of getting what you want or need. Tell him or her (if necessary) the negative effects of your not getting it. Help the person feel good ahead of time for doing or accepting what you want. Reward him or her afterwards.
Mindful (stay mindful)
Keep your focus ON YOUR OBJECTIVES.
Maintain your position and don’t be distracted.
You may have to employ the “broken record” concept of repeatedly asking, saying no, or expressing your opinion over and over.
You may also have to ignore the other person if they attack, threaten you, or attempt to change the subject, ignore facts, or try to divert you. Ignore distractions and just keep making your point.
Appear effective and competent. Use a confident voice tone and physical manner. Make good eye contact. Don’t stammer, whisper, stare at the floor, retreat, or say things like “I’m not sure;’ etc.
Be willing to “GIVE TO GET.”
This can take many forms, and books have been written on this topic alone.
However, here are some concepts and strategies you can employ.
- You can offer or ask for alternate solutions to the problem.
- You can reduce your request.
- You can maintain a position of “no” but offer to do something else or solve the problem another way.
- You can turn the tables by turning the problem over to the other person. For example, try phrases like “what do you think we should do?” or “I’m not able to say yes, and you seem to really want me to, so what can we do here” or “how can we solve this problem?”
So, in conclusion, if you keep the acronym “DEAR MAN” in mind, you will be more likely to get what you want when you ask for it.
To help you remember this technique, we created a freebie. Simply enter your name and email to the right.