The Power of asking for what you want

I took my son to the cinema yesterday.  We had a good time, saw a great movie, but on coming out he discovered that his best trousers were covered with chewing gum.  He was understandably upset but going to walk out of the cinema.  I said “Wait a minute..” and went up to the first cinema employee I could see.  I explained the situation, and he was polite, apologetic and efficient.  They had a procedure for dealing with this and all he had to do was take it to the dry cleaners, and if that didn’t work, they would replace them…  Simple and easy. 

He said that he felt awkward and anxious about speaking out, and yet it couldn’t have been easier.  He was avoiding a confrontation that didn’t exist.  I explained to him that it was important to tell people what you want, especially if you are paying them for something.  If they get unpleasant, you have a choice whether the issue is worth fighting for or not, but always, always tell them what it takes to make you happy.

A few days ago I wanted to write the story behind Harlequins amazing success this season after having been relegated a few years ago, and needed access to the people who were behind it.  I reached out and asked a few people and am meeting one of the key people on Monday.  Today, I was talking to the technical support of our router supplier and they wanted me to send it back to them (at my cost).  I said that wasn’t the kind of service I expected from a firm like theirs and they then offered to send out a replacement immediately, with a prepaid envelope…Simples!

We often seek to avoid conflict unnecessarily and end up feeling resentment without even letting them know we have an issue.  If you are asked “Is everything alright?”  and you offer a bland “Fine..”, what can you expect if they believe you? 

“We are Divine enough to ask and we are important enough to receive.”   Wayne Dyer

“First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.”  Dale Carnegie

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