It’s easy to know what we want. It’s harder to get it. Or is it? Yes, getting a new job or a raise or a promotion can be difficult, but getting what you want can be more black and white than you might think. Want something? It is crucial that you develop a game plan, an approach, a craft. How? According to Jennifer Cohen, Here are the 6 best ways to get what you want. Add them to your arsenal, and you’ll be ready to step up and conquer.
1. Ask. Ask and be specific. It sounds so obvious, and yet sometimes we expect to get exactly what we want without being clear as to what that is. Sometimes without ever having asked for it at all. Have you been wanting a raise? Or maybe you are after that newly available position? You can’t expect others to read your mind. Figure out exactly what it is you want, and ask for it clearly and confidently. Don’t beat around the bush. Express your want specifically and concisely so that there isn’t any confusion, doubt, or wiggle room on the receiver’s end.
2. Stop apologizing. It is sometimes awkward and stressful to ask for something from a higher up. It can be difficult to stand your ground, which often leads to apologizing for what you want. You might catch yourself starting with, “I’m sorry to ask, but…” and later on following up with, “If not, it’s no big deal.” Don’t. People often mistake apologizing for their wants with being polite. You can still be polite without backing down. Apologizing for your want comes across as unconfident which can make your superior feel unconfident in granting it to you. Don’t give in! Be strong! You have nothing to apologize for.
3. Make your gain their gain. Unfortunately, the days of helping for the sake of helping are out the window. The what’s in it for me attitude is a cultural norm, and you must embrace it when asking a boss or any other superior for help. It is important that the person in question views your victory as their victory. If you get what you want, how does it help them? Will it lighten their workload? Will it mean a possible promotion for them in the future? Consider what the other person has to gain, and use these benefits as one of your selling points when asking for what you want. If your achievement affects their life positively, they will be more likely to help you in the future, as well.
4. Make yourself invaluable. We all want to be irreplaceable, so make it so. If you are a true asset to your company, not only will they want to keep you around, they will want to keep you as happy as possible. Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., author of 150 Jobs for a Secure Future, advises employees to be visible in the workplace, be exceptionally productive, and to simply be pleasant if you want to become invaluable to your company. Work hard, become an expert in your field, build a great reputation – do whatever it takes to make it much more trouble to replace you than it is to satisfy you. It is easier to ask for something when your past accomplishments speak for themselves.
5. Be prepared for your want to be fulfilled. It’s easy to wish for something, but are you truly ready for it to be bestowed upon you? The answer? You better be! You may have spent years daydreaming about the prestige that will come with that executive position, but don’t get caught with drool on your chin when it’s time to take the reigns. When you ask someone for something, the other person is always taking a risk in giving it to you. You must prove that their decision to believe in you was the correct one. Don’t let them regret it by fumbling or being unprepared. Know what responsibilities you will be taking on if given what you want, and accept them without missing a beat.
6. Persistence. Unfortunately, not every want is granted right away. Don’t give in too quickly. Just because you’ve gotten one or ten (or even a hundred) nos, it doesn’t mean you should move on. Try a new approach. If the front door is closed, try the back. Is the window open? What about the garage? Have another go at it. Lee Iacocca, the former President of Ford and Chairman of Chrysler explains, “you’ve got to say, ‘I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it.’ It’s called perseverance.” Keep at it.
Complaining is not a strategy, so get to work. These tips will ensure that you are heard and will help you make your case for the best possible outcome. Remember, the clearer you are in your goal, the better chance there is you will achieve it. Have faith in your wants, and get them.