Results? Make Requests, Not Demands
Philippa Kennealy, MD, MPH, CPCC, Coaching Associate with www.PhysicianLeadership.com
a coach, my job is to make many requests from my clients; it's what
they want from me and it's how we create accountability in our
partnership. Making a request, however, is not at like making a
demand. I have learned that making requests is a true
skill, so here are some solid tips I can share to help you
shape the process, and the outcome, of your request.
Difference Between a Demand and Request
do you know when someone is demanding something from you,
rather than requesting? Start by picturing the following
happens to your listening skills
when your employee whines?
much attention are you really
willing to give a demanding patient?
how annoyed are you when your
partner fails to follow through, when you assumed he or she would?
a demand, a well-made request has a simple elegance to it. It
states your desire, it doesn't sink under the weight of
justifications, and it creates enough space for negotiation. Anything
else is whining, hard to figure out, apologetic, or a demand!
these two statements made to you:
need you to finish this project by this evening, because, if you
don't, I will be in hot water with my boss, and then I'll have to
sit and listen to him chew me out, and then you'll have to come in
you please get this project done by the time you leave this
statement would YOU welcome?
the second statement
it becomes clear what you need and by when, there are no extraneous
justifications or apologies to annoy the person you are addressing,
and he or she can respond "Yes", or "No", or
propose a counteroffer. It is the ability to have this room for
negotiation that separates a request from a
demand is a requirement that leaves no room for negotiation.
And, if indeed, you are demanding something, you need to make that
obvious. "Will you put on your seatbelt please? I won't begin
driving until you have it on" is a clear, polite command for
a Skillful Request
is the process of making a skillful request is:
Be clear in your own mind what you need or want.
Start with: "Will you please .....?" and keep it short
Be sure that there is room for the respondent to negotiate with you.
If not, let the person know this is a demand - it's non-negotiable!
Don't whine, make convoluted excuses or apologies for asking, or
assume that the respondent can read your mind.
the outcome possibilities are:
The respondent says "Yes, sure!"
The respondent says "No way!"
The respondent says "I can't do that, but how would it be if I
these guidelines, you'll be amazed how much easier it is to get what
you want, and to avoid misunderstandings or assumptions.
Kennealy MD MPH CPCC, President of Oya Consulting, is
an Executive and Personal Coach who helps her healthcare executive and
professional clients express their full potential as organizational or
business leaders and individuals.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org