Please and Thank You.
The Art of the Ask and the Humility to Receive.
Recently, I got this text from a family member who was watching my daughter:
My wife and I drill our daughter on her manners constantly. We want her to be thoughtful, kind, and polite of course but we also want her to have the ability to communicate in a way that opens doors for her in life.
In business as in life, I was always taught to “stick to the fundamentals”. Saying “please” and “thank you” helps people to open up, share, listen, and remember you. This helps us as leaders stand out particularly in an increasingly coarse and rude culture. Knowing how to make an ask and having the courage to do so will also allow us to separate ourselves from the competition.
So many of us have not because we ask not. Sometimes its pride that stops us from admitting we have a need. Often it is fear of rejection. Fear of success and thoughts of “What if they say yes?” also causes us to miss an opportunity that could’ve been ours if we simply had the courage to ask and knew how to ask.
“Please” is a powerful word. Please is a verb; an action word! Even when used as an adverb in making a polite request, “please” has power because we are requesting action being taken. In business, this request is often permission for us to meet a need or a request for assistance so that we may meet a need. When we see a need we can meet in the marketplace or with a client we want to make the ask politely and with confidence.
After we have asked, we must be able to receive. We may not get everything we ask for. We may get more. A spirit of gratitude in either circumstance is critical to maintaining the attitude required to receive and take advantage of a given opportunity to lead and serve. When we get more than expected, we must maintain the right attitude of gratitude so that we know how to truly receive the time, opportunity, or resources. The right attitude, particularly when we don’t get everything we hoped for, positions us to receive even more after our next ask.
Be encouraged regardless of circumstances. Anger or a lack of gratitude takes us out of consideration for opportunities. “Please” and “Thank you” help keep us top of mind while also giving us peace of mind and positioning us for success in all of our relationships.
Thanks for reading. Please be encouraged!