images.jpg Are you procrastinating in planning a meeting because you are afraid others will put your request off? For any relationship to thrive, both parties have to take responsibility for clearly communicating their needs. Do not assume that others can read your mind. Collaboration is about aligning expectations on mutual needs. Also yours!

  1. Prepare an agenda
  2. Be specific about what you want and when you want it
    In the workplace, the biggest reason for unmet expectations is a lack of understanding of exactly what was expected.
  3. Be clear about what you won’t tolerate
    It’s a rule of life that you get what you tolerate. Making requests will go a long way to eliminating the ‘tolerations’ in your life. Whether it’s asking a team member to show up on time or asking your colleague to stop making sexist jokes. Every day, through what you say and do, you teach others how to treat you.
  4. Forget hints – be direct
    If you like to take the less confrontational (and often, more pleasing)  route of dropping hints to get others to behave differently. Same for any situation that causes you frustration – be direct and tell them what you need in the collaboration.
  5. Your needs matter too
    Do not think that you are putting your own needs before others. Moving your own needs higher on your priority list is therefore not selfish, it’s smart. Asking for less than you really want – from yourself, from others, and from life – doesn’t serve anyone. So enough with the guilt-driven martyr act. Your needs matter too.
  6. Don’t make ‘no’ mean more than it does
    When people say no, don’t treat it as a personal rejection – accept it graciously and move on. At least now you know where things stand and you can plan accordingly.
  7. So I dare you – plan the meeting today and try asking for what you actually want. Who knows… you might just get it!

Margy Warrell