A couple of years ago, I wrote a post that had an overwhelming response.  The premise was that when people fail to meet our expectations, it is usually not because they aren’t trying or don’t care, rather because we haven’t clearly defined what it is we expect.  (If you haven’t read it, check it out here.)

Last week I was teaching a session on leadership for Dell, and we were talking about how frustrating it can be when our co-workers, managers, and families just won’t seem to do what we want them to do. 

It would be nice if we could wave a magic wand, and have everyone around us meet or exceed our expectations, but unfortunately, I haven’t found that wand yet.  I have, however found a simple technique that works more often than not.

While it may sound amazingly simple, most of us don’t get what we want for one simple reason:  WE DON’T ASK FOR IT!

While the post I mentioned has several suggestions to help ensure your expectations are being met, the most simple, and most effective, is to explain what your expectations are and simply ask.

The next time you need or want something from someone else, try this sentence:


It would help me if you could _________.  Is there anything I can do to help make that happen?

Sound simple?  Whether it’s because we afraid of upsetting people, assuming that they can’t or don’t want to do it, or some other reason, we’re usually guilty of not getting what we want because we haven’t stopped to ask for it.

How do you get what you want?  Like us on Facebook to chat about it, or leave a comment here!  I’d love to hear from you.


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