Tell ‘Em What You Want

I can’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want, but I do know how to increase your chances. Sometimes, it’s as simple as stating your intention.

This should be done with an amount of clarity and respect, but we need to let people know what we want.

I remember visiting  the bank with my mother, when she asked the bank teller for several paper quarter rolls.  She had several hundreds of quarters to roll in order to deposit them at the bank. These were quarters accumulated from many months of pay per use laundry machines. The teller asked my mother how many rolls she needed, and she said, “alot.” The teller cordially brought her about 10 rolls. I remember telling my mother at that point that she needed to be clear in telling people what she wants- 100 rolls. ‘Alot’ is a relative term. I never let my mother forget this incident, because I believe it provides a lesson for all areas of life. By communicating what we want, we are at least letting people know, and there’s a chance that once they know, they can help us achieve that goal.

With those in management positions, this can be a crucial element. There are actually those who manage teams but are unclear about indicating goals or measures of success. They expect work to be done by their teams, but there’s no clear understanding of what is supposed to be accomplished.

This seems like a pretty obvious point, establishing your goals, but it can often be overlooked in the anxiety ridden preparation for a presentation or speech, or even for a brief phone call.  Before preparing any remarks, always make sure to determine what your messages are, what your goals are for this communication, and then you can consider how to achieve them, depending on the audience. Figuring out what you want can often be a challenge, but it’s necessary in order to move forward with anything and everything you do.

The basic question to ask yourself is “what do I want?”   The rest is figuring out how to get it.

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