How to Make Requests from People in Your Network
Making requests is a fundamental and important element of relationship building. Making requests not only helps you get what you want in life, it also helps you build relationships with others; as well as helps you to expand your network. It is amazing that some people don’t ask for what they want from others; and yet they complain that quality contacts and connections is not rewarding. How can you receive when you have not asked? How can you find when you have not sought? How can the doors of opportunities be opened to you when you have not knocked on them? You can, and you should make requests from members of your network. You should also expect other people to make requests and ask for favours from you.
In part one of this article, we will discuss why people are averse to making requests or asking for help. Click on link to read.
There are so many reasons why people don’t make requests in networking and in life generally. As we highlight the reasons, you would notice that most of them exist in the mind and are merely assumptions.
1. Fear of Rejection
“What if she says no?” they ask. I am sure you have heard that F.E.A.R simply means: Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real. “What if she says no?” is just that – fantasy. The rejection that you fear only exists in the realm of your fantasy. You have not asked, so how do you know you would be rejected? By the way, what would you lose if ask and you don’t get? You don’t have what you want to ask for in the first place. So, if you ask and you don’t get, you have not lost anything, because you didn’t have anything anyway. As a matter of fact, the real risk is in not asking. Because by not asking, you are losing the chances and possibilities of getting what you want if you ask.
2. Fear of Embarrassment
The second reason why people don’t make requests is, “I don’t want to be embarrassed”. Fear of embarrassment is actually a symptom of low self-esteem. Nothing is an embarrassment until you interpret it to be so. Develop and make self-validating confessions and declarations whenever things or people appear to embarrass you. When people say no to your requests, they have not said no to you; they have only said no to your request. I will be dealing with how to handle rejection and embarrassment in a later article.
3. Waiting for the Right Time
The third reason why people don’t make request is, “Is it not too early or too soon for me to make a request?” I agree that timing is critical in making requests. However, timing is not necessarily a function of how long you have met or known somebody. You can meet someone today and in the course of a casual conversation something is said or an opportunity presents itself for you to make a request. For instance, you can meet someone in the aircraft, initiate a conversation, introduce yourself and in the course of the conversation he mentions to you that he has been having challenges finding the right candidate to fill a vacant position in his company. Now, if you have a younger sister or know someone that fits the profile he’s looking for, you can politely say so, and ask if you may send your sister to him for a chat.
4. The Plate is Full
“I am sure he has a lot on his plate.” is another assumption that people make. It’s good to be considerate in deciding who and when to make a request. But again, you may just assuming that the person’s plate is full. What if he just cleared the plate? Is it not possible that every other person is thinking like you are thinking, and therefore his plate is actually empty?
5. Status Fright
The fifth assumption is, “She’s not in the same league or class with me.” This statement can be a sign of inferiority complex or superiority complex. Amazingly, there are people who would not make requests to people lower than them in strata, education, wealth, etc. For such people it is condescending to do so. For others, making requests to those older, richer, more educated or more powerful than them is “hanging your clothes where you cannot stretch to retrieve it”. That’s inferiority complex and it’s a success destroyer.
6. I Don’t Want to Be a Parasite
The sixth reason why people don’t make requests is that they think it is parasitic to do so. For those with this mindset, their position is that it is only fair to make requests to those that you can also help. My question is, ‘How do you know for sure that they do not need you now or that they would not need you in the future?’ In any case, there is no rule that states that only those you can help should help you.
“People are arrogant, selfish and proud” is another mental block to making requests. It’s called labelling; sometimes driven by fallacy of over generalization. The fact that one person of a particular demography, geography and psychography has behaved in a certain way does not mean that everybody fitting the same description will behave likewise.
8. Nothing Until I Am Certain
“I don’t want to waste my time on something I am not sure of.” is the eight mental block stopping people from making requests. Can you really be sure of anything? Can you be sure of the next minute? Can you be sure that you when you leave your house to work, school or business that you will return home alive and well? So why do you step out? You step out despite the risks because your focus is on the rewards of leaving your house. Adopt the same attitude in making requests. Take the risk. Focus on the joy of getting what you want.
9. No Intimate Relationship Yet
“They don’t know me well enough, and I don’t know them well enough.” Well, when would be well enough? Can the request wait? Will they still be available when you know them well enough? What if other people seize the opportunity before you are ready?
10. I Don’t Want to Take Advantage of People
The final reason is the assumption that, “They would think I am taking advantage of them”. My response to this assumption is, “don’t ask them because you want to take advantage of them”. If your motive is right and your conscience is clear, you shouldn’t bother so much about what people would think or do. You can’t really determine what someone would think or do; can you?
In our next article, we shall discuss the right way to make requests. In the meantime, go out there and make genuine requests. Man was created to offer help to others.