Asking? Do It Well & Directly

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Here, in quick form, are our guidelines for learning to ask well and directly for help:

1. Define what's going on: Only you know what your situation is - so keep the information flowing. Tell "safe" people what the issues are. What do you need? When? From whom? Know the answer to "wassup?"

2. Ask for help: Practice, practice, practice being direct. "Could you come over for 2 hours on Tuesday afternoons?" is better than "I sure wish I had more company."

3. Be clear and specific: This applies to not only your request for help, but also to your response. If you've asked for something clearly you assist not only yourself, but the person you've asked. They might say "no". If they do, it's likely that they'll be able to tell you why, offer an alternative time, or suggest another way to take care of whatever it is.

4. Don't take "NO" personally: Really, their no is more about their availability, the location, their limitations, or their own burdens. Additionally, if you avoid repeatedly asking the same person and thus burning them out, you'll be more likely to get a "yes" - a team can support you more than an individual can. The "no" is seldom about you.

5. Get organized: Having a team (list) of people you might ask for a certain type of problem, knowing what different people do best or like to do, who you'd like to see, who you've asked in the past - all of these are strategies. If it's too much, then maybe the place to start is with someone to help strategize and organize. In our book and in our workbook we give excellent advice about each of these.

6. Keep on giving to others: This is part of being healthier & happier - "Paying it forward" really works, for the one who gives, as well as for the one who receives.