People often tell us they find asking other people for their time, help and support difficult. This is particularly tough when asking a loved one to help out, it can feel like grovelling, being demanding or disrespectful depending on how you think.
This make requests appear clumsy, awkward and sometimes risky. Being able to ask for help from the one you love builds relationships and is a key factor in managing your time well, as you can’t do everything yourself.
Here are our top tips straight from our book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever:
1. Demonstrate respect for them in your request
Don’t apologise for asking for help, this disrespects them and invalidates your request. Instead explain why you thought of them or why you value them. Some good examples are:
‘I had this idea and immediately thought of you’
‘I want to ask you first because you’re so brilliant with the kids’
‘I’m stuck on this and I know you’re great at analysing the detail’
2. Present the request in a way that has meaning for them
People often explain and justify why they need help. Instead ask for their help in a way that connects for them. You know your partner well and know what they are motivated by, it could be a chance to get involved with the family, develop a skill, or do something they would be proud of. You could also offer something that appeals to them in return. Here are some examples:
‘It’s a chance to get stuck into something I think you’ll enjoy’
‘They (the kids) need your calm influence on a school night’
‘Can I buy you lunch and you help me work through the specifics in this proposal?’
3. Ask specifically for what you want
Sometimes requests for help are too vague, this makes it hard for people to respond to. This is often out of fear or rejection or that you are asking too much. Being specific actually makes it easier for other people to say yes. Here are some examples:
‘Would you look over my idea and let know if it’s something you’re interested in?’
‘Could you babysit for me next Tuesday until around 9pm while I attend an important meeting at work?’
‘I need help working out what’s missing and what questions to ask the technicians working on it’
Take time to plan how to ask for help, don’t make it up or say anything you don’t mean, that will only make you sound manipulative. Have a positive response ready for if they say no, don’t make them feel bad about it. If you keep the whole interaction positive they are more likely to offer you help in the future, knowing you won’t put them under pressure and that you value their input.
If you are interested in learning more about improving the communication in your relationship, come along to one of our Free Webinars or Introduction mornings in NLP. Find all dates and location here
Karen Meager is a UKCP Psychotherapist, NLP Master Trainer and author of Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever. Get your copy of Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever from Amazon, bookshops or from us directly. Available paperback and e book version.
Founder of Monkey Puzzle and an INLPTA NLP Master Trainer, Karen is also a UKCP registered Psychotherapist and author of the award winning book Real Leaders for the Real World. Her new book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever is out now.