Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ASK, Silly! Here's how...

He: keeps texting instead of calling.
You: Honey, thanks for being so communicative. I'd love to hear your voice, call me.

Your boss: chose Nancy to take the lead instead of you.
You: I'd like to take on more leadership roles at the company. This is why and what I can contribute...

Your dream: needs $1,000,000 to kick start.
You: Hi (investor), my business offers you an opportunity to achieve X. Join me.

Man on subway: is taking up two seats.
You: I'd like to sit down, would you mind moving your bag.

Teacher: gave you A-, you deserved an A+
You: Professor, I'd like the opportunity to discuss my paper with you and request your re-evaluating my grade for an A+. This is why...

Whatever it is that you want. ASK for it. ASK. ASK. ASK.

Nobody can read your mind or wishes. You have a responsibility to yourself and to OTHERS to let them know. The world feels good when you do. Seriously. Help others help you.

Here are some tips:

1. Be clear on what you want and WHY
2. Identify who can help you achieve what you want
3. Ask that person
4. Be polite but firm (don't apologize or be concerned with being a burden)
5. Focus on what you need (and not on what the others are missing or doing wrong)

If you still find it hard to ask for what you need. Remember this:
1. You're worth it.
2. You're setting an example. So set a positive one. If you don't practice asking for what you need - you are sending a message to everyone who looks up to you that it's okay to take shit.
3. Like everything, this is a practice. Seems so simple, but it's not. Take baby steps. It took me 6 months to muster up the courage to tell my nail lady to change the way she files my nails.

Here's what I am asking to kick off for everyone:
1. Share my blog with three people who would enjoy it and have them subscribe
2. Practice asking for something that you may be holding back on and report back!


  1. Me: Will you please keep writing blog entries??

    This one's awesome and a good reminder.

  2. Ask for a grade change? Whatever happened to asking for an explanation as to why your grade is low to hear his or her justification for it and then questioning on how to improve it in the future? It's no less "positive" and still places the locus of control firmly in the hands of the asker.

  3. Hi there,
    Thanks for reading and commenting. I totally see your point of view. And agree, one should first discuss the paper and understand where the teacher is coming from. But what's wrong with asking for a grade change if you can demonstrate you achieved and over achieved? These examples are designed to demonstrate how to ask for what you deserve. Often we don't, because we don't question authority or don't believe we're worth it. But we are. You are the creator of your experience and I believe we need to teach that to our kids. Now, I don't believe that you should go around asking for grade changes just because you want a higher grade - it has to be deserved and earned. To step back, this post isn't really about students or making a statement about the education process - but really about creating a practice - no matter who you are or what stage of life you're in - to ask for you want and deserve. I hope, at least, that got through.


  4. It seems out of place, because as a student it is difficult to not view the work he or she produces through a neutral lens. You need to be judged objectively on your work by an unbiased source, which is why debating a grade with a professor seems to reek of entitlement. A student is not the best judge of his or her own work, whereas a seasoned professor who is a leader in his field and has dealt with many students throughout the years would likely be able to provided a reasonable evaluation of the work provided. A student who argues like that is a professor's worst nightmare.

    It also strikes me that even if you were able to argue your way to a higher grade, you wouldn't be receiving additional points for the actual work you did, but instead for the delivery of your argument, which is completely irrelevant if you're being graded on a paper that you wrote. If you were able to demonstrate what you felt you overachieved at in a paper, then it should have been in the paper in the first place and clearly articulated.

    Anyway, what we should be teaching students is that hard work will reap positive results. It is also important for students to take advantages of the opportunities presented to them, to ask why they didn't get the grade they wanted, and to have assistance available to help these students attain their goals. Both of which will help a student get one better grade on one paper, but on papers in the future.

    Children are already entitled enough in society.