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Asking For Favours In A Professional Environment

18 September 2016   |   6:30 pm

In a professional environment, the time will come when you will need help to get something done. In the course of trying to execute a project, the adage ‘beg, borrow or steal’ often comes into play. It’s never easy to ask people to do something for you, and even harder when you are working with little or no funds. If this is the case, you will have to ask for a lot of favors.

On the surface, asking for a favor seems fairly simple. You pick someone, ask them and then they give you either a positive or negative response, right? Well, sort of. There’s an art to asking someone to help you with something, and there are definitely ways to respond and react that can make the experience easier and more positive for both people. Today, we will be focusing on how to ask for favours in a professional environment without being demanding or entitled.

  • The most important thing to remember when asking for a favor is to always say please and thank you. If you’re asking someone to do you a favor, starting with an appreciative tone always helps.
  • Be prepared to graciously accept rejection. You never know what someone else’s life, schedule or comfort level is, and being unable to help you may not have anything to do with you at all. You should be able to politely respond to being told “no”.
  • Never use guilt as a mechanism for favour seeking. If the person does feel guilted into helping you out, he/she probably won’t do their best work. Also, it taints your relationship with this person. It’s always best to just honestly explain your situation.
  • Be direct and don’t beat around the bush. It’s very awkward having a long conversation with someone when you know all they want is to ask you something. Always lead off with your request.
  • No one wants to feel like you’re just dumping your work on them, so do as much as you can before asking for help. If you’ve tried something and reached a block, explain this and what you’ve done so the person knows how best to approach helping you. In the long run, this saves everyone’s time.

At the end of the day, people generally don’t wear signs on their head that say, “Ask me for help.”. Overcome your fears and be comfortable asking your peers for help. One thing many people don’t realise is that it’s equally difficult for most people to reject someone. If you ask right, chances are you’ll be getting a lot of positive responses.

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