[If you are reading this post on e-mail why not click on the link to enjoy the song that inspired the post]
I’ve just enjoyed a fantastic weekend celebrating our anniversary, had a great time visiting Chester which is one of my favourite cities and staying in a great hotel. As I was having such a good time I started to relax, have some fun and ask for things.
It started out at the check-in desk when I asked for a room upgrade. The woman looked at me for a second, smiled and said they had a deluxe double free so they’d be happy to upgrade me. I wasn’t rude or abrupt in asking her, I just asked politely with a smile on my face to see if we could get an upgrade (the fact that I mentioned it was our anniversary probably did no harm either!)
Next, I asked the waiter at the restaurant we went to if we could get a better table. He originally showed us a table in the middle of the restaurant that would have meant people constantly walking past us so I asked for a table in the corner away from the throng. Without a thought, he walked us over to the perfect table and set us down. Again, I wasn’t rude I just simply asked for what I wanted.
What is so hard about asking for what you want? As a nation the British are generally too polite to ask for things, I know I am. Somehow I’d rather put up with something less than perfect than move slightly out of my comfort zone and ask. Bizarre when you think about it in those terms.
This goes for work situations also. I remember once in my more junior days, I made a mistake on a system that meant a few months worth of data was lost. My natural reaction was to put in all the hours I could to rectify the mistake. A very noble intent but my team mates would have been more than happy to help me out. I worked long days, came in at weekends and after about 2 months I got the system back to the level it was at before. In the meantime, I’d upset a few people with my cranky behaviour because I was putting in all the hours that I could. The better response would have been to admit my mistake and ask for help. We would have resolved the situation far quicker and I would have been of saner mind.
This doesn’t just apply to correcting mistakes. If you have a presentation to write or a report to complete, ask your colleagues for help. My bet is that they’ll jump at the chance to get involved. If they don’t so what, it hasn’t cost you anything and maybe next time they’ll have the time to support you.
So, if there is something you want, ask – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the response you get.