Would you like to be able to confidently ask for what you want and get it (most of the time)? Whether you want to influence your boss or colleagues at work, your family or friends or even your clients, being able to confidently phrase your request is important.
People will interpret the way you communicate as a measure of your confidence and self-belief and use this to determine whether to agree to your request or not. If you can adapt the words you use to be more effective, you’re more likely to get your desired response.
Here are 5 different phases you can use in various situations to get what you want confidently:
Pitching – “Would you be open to learning more about….” This approach is great for opening the door to make a client pitch, whilst still allowing the client to feel they haven’t yet committed to a decision. I also find it works well with my husband when I have plans for spending money! “Would you be open to hearing more about a possible design for the kitchen?”
Direct – “What I would like from you is…” A simple phrase but it works well as it’s very specific and the person can be in no doubt about what you clearly want. It’s best used with someone who you already have influence over such as a direct report or the kids. “What I would like from you is to clear away all the toys in the lounge and then we can go to the cinema“.
Complaint – “What I heard you say is….” You could use this phrase with either a customer who is complaining, your boss who has a detailed request or an upset friend. The benefit of it is that you gain really clarity on what they are asking for or upset about and they feel genuinely listened to.
Buying time – “I’m not 100% sure, but I’ll get back to you by….” In a situation where you need time to reflect on your thoughts or to get more information this phrase will buy you time. Be specific about when you’ll get back to them and what with, then you will come across confidently. In comparison to waffling a vague answer or just saying “I don’t know”. It’s useful in work at meetings, and at home with kids or friends when they request something you’re not sure you can give.
Calmly – “I’d like to understand…..” Rather than exploding when your colleague or kids do something stupid try using this phrase. You’ll find not only are they less defensive but you may actually find out reasons behind their behaviour you weren’t aware of. “‘I’d like to understand why you’re 4 hours late home from work, smelling of beer and I’ve had no phone call?“. Hmmmh that will get some interesting explanations!!
I’d love to hear how you get on with using these phrases so please let me know and do share my article with anyone you think will find it useful.