One of the best skills you can develop is how to give someone options in order to get a YES. We all like to have options. No one likes to be told what they like, what they don’t, what they want, what they will do, what they won’t. We like choices.
Here’s an example: When my neighbor, a freelancer, was asked to handle a client’s social media advertising, she quickly saw issues on the client’s website. Those issues were inadvertently affecting their social media effectiveness. She hadn’t been hired to help with their website. In fact, the client really liked their website – but she knew the issues would impact her ability to do other things well for the client. So, she put together a list of options for the client. She explained her rationale for basically asking them to spend more time and money on a different project. She included a summary of how she could help and how this could help them reach their overall goals. Win-win.
Here’s another example: When a friend’s young daughter would ask for a cookie, my friend would hold up some fruit and ask, “Which one do you want? An apple or a banana?”
Got a heavy workload? Respectfully ask your boss if you can delay another project while you focus on the new one that just landed in your lap. So, the work gets done, but you keep your sanity!
Need a teenager to do some chores? Give him the list and tell him the chores can be done in any order he wants, at any time, but they have to be done by Sunday night or he loses the Wi-Fi password for the rest of the week. He gets to have options and you get to have some chores done around the house.
Grieving friend? Don’t just offer a generic version of “How can I help?” Instead, offer helpful options like taking their kids to the movie so they can have downtime; send meals to their house to relieve that burden; take their dog for a walk or pick up their mail. You get the idea.
Bottom line is this: Think about what the other person gets out of it. You want to win. They want to win. So make it easy for them to say YES! Presented with choices, most people like the opportunity to help, to do a good deed, or to make a trade.