#1: “Ask”—just 7 points in Scrabulous, invaluable elsewhere

by | Feb 27, 2008 | Blog | 0 comments

The little word “ask” should always be on the tongues of LEAN communicators, who always need to do more with less.

“Ask” is short, direct and flexible. Three terrific ways to “ask” are:

  1. Ask for feedback
  2. Ask for support.
  3. Ask for help.

You have to say the word “ask.” You can’t expect people will know they have something you want or need. Nor are they always willing to take the time unless they realize you’re interested and will value what they say or do.

For example, I recently asked the CFO of one of my clients if he could sit down with me and the communication manager to give us an overview of some of their biggest business challenges, especially from a financial perspective. The communication manager was scribbling notes just as fast as I because the CFO’s brain dump was all new material to him too.

After about 20 minutes, the communication manager stopped to say, “Wow. This is such helpful information. I wish I had it when I started four months ago.”

The CFO replied, “Glad to do it. All you had to do was ask.”

In fact, to ask is to be a good leader. Leadership guru Peter Drucker http://www.druckerinstitute.com/ said toward the end of his long life, “The leader of the past knew how to tell—the leader of the future will know how to ask.”

So start asking. You not only need feedback, support and help from others. You also need to recognize that these days it’s very difficult to tell anyone what to do. Instead, the better approach is to ask, listen and learn from them and then figure out on what they need from you—primarily from a communication perspective—to make them more effective and successful.

So what do you think?


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