The Power of Asking
Although women are making gigantic strides in the world, many of us still aren’t getting what we want out of our lives. Why is that?
The reason lies within ourselves: we need to be able to ask for the things we want. It’s a trait that men have mastered, and one that you need to as well. Here are some examples of ways men ask for what they want:
In the Office
Negotiating for Wages and Raises
One reason there’s still an earnings gap between the sexes is that many of us aren’t as comfortable negotiating for raises and wages as our male counterparts. A substantially higher number of men negotiate for a higher initial wage than women. These men then continue to request raises throughout their careers. Because of this, it’s estimated that many women stand to lose a half million dollars or more over the course of their careers.
Women often advance at a slower rate than equally-qualified males. It’s not a matter of the quality of work – it’s about asking. Men volunteer for opportunities that make their hard work visible to management, which helps them attain the promotions they desire.
In a Relationship
This probably won’t come as a shock: men ask for what they want in relationships. Whether they’re asking for a night out with the guys, or for you to do something for them, they’ll tell you what they’re thinking. A common complaint among men is that their significant other “expects them to read her mind.” If you want your significant other to do something around the house, or if you just need some alone time, too–ask them!
Also, without getting into the gritty details, surveys usually show that men are more satisfied with the physical aspect of their relationships than women. If there’s something you need from your partner and you’re not getting it, you need to ask.
With your Friends
Many women feel drained and put upon by certain friends. Sometimes friends ask too much of us and never seem to reciprocate. This is where thinking like men can help:
Men aren’t shy about asking their friends for favors–whether they need help moving, or even to borrow money, they’ll ask their friends directly for what they want.
The flip-side of this skill is also important:
Men also aren’t shy about turning a friend’s request down. They are willing to say “no,” or negotiate different terms for the favor–maybe they can do part of what their friend is asking them to do.
Remember: You’re Allowed to Ask!
The next time you’re unhappy with a situation, try to think of how you can use the simple power of asking to change your life. The more you ask, the more confident you’ll get, and the happier you’ll be.
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Be Confident, Be Bold, Be You!
Dr. Christi Monk is the founder of the Workplace Leadership Institute which helps organizations build a culture of “connectedness”. She is also the founder of The Confidence Suite which teaches women how to tap into their core value system so they are more effective, confident and productive contributors in the workplace and their communities. She received her doctoral degree in Management of Organizational Leadership Studies and is certified in Conflict Resolution and Workplace Mediation. Her published work is entitled Workplace Bullying – In Search of a Clearer Definition. Dr. Monk is a certified trainer from the Workplace Bullying Institute.