You know that moment of hesitancy before you ask for something? It’s as if your mind is playing out a thousand ‘what if’ scenarios, complete with a side order of worst-case outcomes. It’s easy to get caught up in this, imagining all the ways your request could go sideways.
But let’s shift our focus for a second.
Have you ever considered the potential benefits of simply asking for what you need?
Lighten the Load
The first, and perhaps most immediate, benefit is that incredible feeling of relief. It’s like setting down a heavy backpack you didn’t realize you were carrying. You’ve finally given voice to that need that’s been growing inside you. Suddenly, you feel lighter, freer, and more at ease, regardless of the response.
Shine a Light
The truth is, even the best managers aren’t equipped with ESP. If your needs aren’t made known, how can anyone help you fulfill them? I’ve experienced this firsthand when my direct reports approached me with their requests. The light bulb went on. Oh, that’s what you’re interested in? Now that I know, I can actually help you achieve it!
You Just Might Get It – Eventually
Sometimes, the stars align, and you get exactly what you asked for. Other times, the response might be a “no” at least at first.
One time, after a company reorganization, I found myself without a direct report. So, I approached my new manager and asked to be a manager again in the new structure. The initial response? Nope, not possible. But guess what? I walked away feeling lighter and empowered. Plus, my request had planted a seed. My commitment to being a manager was clear, and less than a year later, my request was granted.
So, why not ask? While the outcome isn’t guaranteed, the benefits of simply making the request are undeniable. So go ahead, unburden yourself, shine a light on your needs, and who knows, you might just get what you’re asking for.