Feeling confident enough to ask for something is easier said than done. We all have self-doubt, especially when it comes to asking for something valuable for yourselves. Some of us might doubt our abilities and ask whether we really deserve it, while others worry that the other person will not get our point.
It’s possible that this self-doubt comes from countless experiences of being rejected when we’ve tried asking for something. So, how can you find the courage or confidence to ask for what you want? Here are some effective strategies to convince yourself and build up your confidence before asking.
Write it Down
Looking for the easiest way to muster up your courage before asking for a raise? Write down your question on the paper. Preparation is important when you want to build confidence before starting an uncomfortable or difficult conversation.
Writing down your thoughts will give you clarity on what words you should choose and how you need to say them. It will help you solve your mental hurdles and set the tone for the conversation.
Writing it down doesn’t just mean writing your thoughts on paper. It’s important to create a proper plan of the dialogues you need to say. This way, you won’t stumble while speaking and won’t take breaks mid-sentence to find the right words.
Plan the Right Time to Make a Request
Planning to yell at your friends as soon as they get off the elevator? Well, it’s not an effective way of communication and, of course, will not give you the results you are looking for. Call your friends and set a meeting with them at the right place and time.
Make sure to tell them that you want to talk about something important so that they’re comfortable yet serious.
Communicating at a time when the other person is not in the right mind and focused will lead to more problems for you. Either they won’t take you seriously or they’ll ask you to come back another time. Worst case scenario: they’ll fight with you. So, choose the right time if you really want to ask something.
Understand Why You Are Asking Before You Ask
Oftentimes we’re not able to gather the confidence to ask for something because we don’t know what we’re asking for. This is followed by a false reassurance that we can live without it – so it’s okay to not ask and let things go. Some may tell themselves that their needs and desires are not important to talk themselves out of asking. If you feel the same way, try understanding the reason behind what you want to ask.
Come up with a reason as to why it’s a valuable thing, how it can make a difference in your life, and narrow down what’s stopping you from asking. Once you have an answer to these, you’ll start building the motivation and confidence to ask.
Once you realize how important it is to ask, you’ll see the difference between your body language and the way you communicate.
Be Specific When Asking
Many people make the mistake of beating around the bush, expecting the other person to understand what they’re asking for. Not only does it lead to misunderstandings, but you also end up with nothing.
Since there is a great risk of not getting what you asked for, make sure to be specific when communicating. Clearly discuss what you want in simple language, tone, and words. Also, observe their behavior to discern whether they understand you.
Think About Body Language
Body language is essential for effective communication. If your dialogue is specific and accurate, but your body language seems timid and confused, the other person will struggle to understand your point. It’s important that your body language also shows confidence when you communicate.
When talking, try to stay relaxed and use right-hand gestures. Eliminate the tension in your shoulders and relax. If you feel restless while standing during conversations, sit down before you begin your conversation.
Maintain eye contact with the other person throughout the conversation to show how much you want them to understand your point. The more assertive you look while talking, the more effectively you can prove your point.
“I have heard that Michael will be the next project manager, but it should have been me. I have done so much for the company but never got the respect I deserve.” If you are planning to communicate this way, you’ll only make the other person angry. Complaining about the situation will show that you have a bad attitude and will limit your opportunities, making things worse. Remember that complaining is not for adults. You’ll come off as unprofessional and cranky and give the impression that you don’t realize the value of what you’re asking.
Keeping a positive approach to everything and avoiding the “it is not fair” approach will encourage others to give you a chance and understand what you are asking for. So, never compare your situation with others, don’t complain, and keep a positive tone. When you want something, tell them why you need it and how you’re the right person for it.
In a nutshell, you can have the confidence to ask for what you want when you truly understand your goals. Besides that, preparing yourself in advance will help you communicate with confidence. Also, make sure that you have confident body language and avoid making complaints.
While these tricks are pretty effective, they only work when the thing you are asking for is realistically possible. So, set realistic expectations before you ask for something.