How often do we shrink in the face of possible rejection?
Think of the last time you really wanted to ask for something of others, but just couldn’t muster the courage.
What if you learned that 52% of the time, the other person might just say “Yes!”? Would that change your willingness to risk being rejected?
Really, think about it.
Consider this: If you had to wait over 90 minutes to get your food at a restaurant, would you ask the waiter to give you dessert on the house to earn back your good will?
Or, let’s say you are not happy with your salary and you are thinking about looking for a better job. Would you start by asking your employer for a large raise before starting to look for a new job?
Those are common examples of occasions when just asking is in our best interest, but still many of us would not attempt them for fear of rejection.
Just where is your line in the sand when it comes to risking rejection?
Maybe a better question is, what possibilities burst open for us if we can get a little more comfortable with hearing “no”? And how many surprise “Yes’s” might be waiting out there for us if we only had the courage to ask?!
Today we point you to an absolutely delightful and insightful TED Talk by Jia Jiang, in which he describes his journey to find the potential in simply asking.
Have some fun and enjoy this great talk. What a treat!
So the magic word is “why?”
Let’s take the two examples we opened the article with – the free dessert and the large raise – and process the conversation that might have happened, had we just asked. Maybe we would have gotten a “no” both times, but if we would have asked why, in a warm friendly way, it would have given the other person pause to actually reconsider.
How about the other insight: if we mention the doubt the other person might have, ahead of the ask, it gains people’s trust and they more readily say “yes”.
Could we accomplish some of our dreams by just asking more and more often? And what if we saw things a little differently from the outset? Here’s a great quote to consider:
“An objection is not necessarily a rejection: often it is simply a request for more information.”
– Bo Bennett
I suspect that is some of what Jia was driving at when he spoke about all he learned from the 100 days. If he was authentic and approachable enough to engage people in more conversation, often more information was enough to get a great outcome!
Let’s have some fun with this, loosen up, take some risks on a few things that have very low stakes. See where things go!
Here’s one more insight: I’ve found that if I redefine “no”, it’s easier to ask for what I want. I say to myself, every “no” I get is just a “no for now”, and I convince myself that if I keep improving my presentation, someday I’ll hear “yes” in that same situation.
Stay open, curious and optimistic.
~ Dr. Lynda
Check out more thought-leaders!
Are you a TED.com fan, or perhaps that’s your first TED Talk? Either way, there is no end to the great insights you can find in many EWC articles that point you to some of the most amazing TED Talks.
Have a look at our TED Talk category and you’ll find we include many of the best in our articles. Or if you’d like to see our ultimate favorites, check out our “Must See” TED Talk list.