|I’ve noticed a curious thing about asking for favors.You’d think that the difficulty of getting someone to give you something would directly relate to how valuable it is. If I ask for a dollar, you might give it to me. But ten dollars? That should be about ten times harder.
If that’s the case, though, I should never be able to convince you to help me with something that will take many hours of work on your part. You’re very busy – everybody’s busy – so what would cause you to just give me a lot of your time?
What’s going on here, it appears, is a much more complex transaction.
There’s a lot of value you might receive from giving me some of your time:
These are often the reasons people contribute to charitable causes or join groups. Especially when you aren’t getting paid for your contribution, it’s clear that these other factors are what drives you to engage and help out.
What do we do with this knowledge?
A particular case I run into constantly is this: John would like to learn something from Jane, but is reluctant to ask for her time. He fears that he might look foolish, and is worried that Jane will see it as an imposition.
And in fact, she might, if John approaches it the wrong way. “I’d like to schedule a two hour meeting with you” seems difficult for a busy person. Why? Because it hasn’t conveyed that Jane is going to get anything useful out of it – perhaps it will just be a boring waste of time.
If John really values Jane’s knowledge, he should let her know. Here’s some useful phrases that he might weave into a question:
Each of these, to varying degrees, conveys a sense of gratitude to Jane: She’s going to end up feeling good about having helped John’s career.
John will end up receiving priceless knowledge, and in the same way, Jane will receive priceless satisfaction.
That’s much easier, in fact, than trying to get a stranger to give you $10.
|Carl Dierschow is a Certified Small Fish Business Coach and author of the career management guide, Mondays Stink! 23 Secrets to Rediscover Delight and Fulfillment in Your Work. He is a career coach for those going through interesting transitions, and works with small business owners who need to create breakthroughs in achieving their business goals. Find out more at www.Dierschow.com and www.SmallFish.us.If you are interested in individual career coaching, group coaching, or other resources which might help you with difficult choices, please contact Carl at email@example.com.|
|To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, send an e-mail to newsletter@Dierschow.com© 2011 Possibilities Partnership LLC|