People do it all the time. Your boss asks you to do something. Your friend asks you for a favor. Your parents tell you they need something done.
Maybe most of the time, it’s ok or expected and you do it. But then, there are those WTF times where you wish they would’ve asked you differently — or not have asked you at all. Here’s something to think about when it’s your turn to ask somebody for a favor.
1) Ask me directly. If someone comes up to me and says “[so-and-so] thinks that you should…” you have already lost half the battle. I can assume either the messenger is too afraid/lazy to ask, or the person who asked the messenger to deliver the message is too afraid/lazy to ask. Either way, grow some balls and man up (and yes, if you’re a woman this still applies).
2) The more u ask me, the less I want to do it. I can understand a 2nd, or even 3rd reminder. Professionalism and good communication demand a response within a reasonable time frame. So, if it’s been awhile, know that I must be really busy — or honestly, maybe it’s not that important to me. Just remember, you are the one asking for something. Be aware of the other persons’ situation, ask questions to find out, and…
3) Tell me why I should care or why I need to hurry. I believe that the perfect communication between human beings is if we could directly feel, see, and understand 100% what the other person does. We should strive to be as close to this as possible, and the most successful communicators probably are too. So, if someone isn’t being responsive, maybe it’s because they don’t know something that you do. Explain to them why it’s time sensitive and if they get it, they’ll hurry up too. Tell them the reasons it’s important to you. “I want it! I want it! I want it!” doesn’t tell me anything, and is not the answer.
4) Don’t guilt trip me. This is, in my opinion, one of the worst tactics a person can use to get someone to do something. It may work on certain people, but in the long run, no one is going to stick around. Who wants to feel like crap? Not me. If I need something, I would want someone to help me because they want to — and I would want them to feel damn good about it too. Why? Because they’re more likely to help again, or even better, stay your friend.
5) Build a relationship. Family comes first because they’ve always been there for me. I’d do anything for them. Next comes my long-term friends and significant other; two very important types of relationships in my life. Then close friends. Everyone else will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and don’t be surprised if they get their request turned down. It’s because they haven’t invested in me, so it’s hard for me to invest in them. How many times has someone, who barely even talks to you, randomly messages you and tries to act like you’re best friends because they want something? You can stop faking it ‘cuz my answer is still going to be “no.”
6) Don’t be annoyingly relentless. So you’ve followed all of these tips and they’re still not willing to bend for you? Maybe you should let it go and find a different person or solution. Move on and we’ll be all be happier…before you piss someone off.
Now, stop asking me for favors. :)