If you don’t have the courage to ask you will never get an answer

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 15 seconds

No one wants to hear „no“ as an answer. If you don’t ask for something no one is going to say “no” to you. It is as easy as it sounds. Nonetheless, in order to get better, we need to start asking. Asking for feedback and asking for help. We need to realise that asking for something does not mean that we are not able to do it ourselves. It means to be clever enough to understand when you need someone to get one step further. Sometimes it just takes one question to change a whole idea or to solve a problem. Asking the right questions can be a powerful tool or even better a skill.

At the beginning of December, we had the chance to present our startup ideas in front of a Dragon’s Den jury at Kingston University. If I’m honest, yes we did get some answers that we didn’t want to hear, but it is important to get feedback from outside. An opinion from a neutral position can bring fresh inputs. You need to talk to people to improve your idea. Especially to the people who don’t like your product or service. You need to figure out why. This is where the 5 why’s can be helpful. If someone gives you a reason you keep asking why. This is a suitable method to dig deeper. It is a problem-solving approach. If you be as persistent as this young lady in the video you will get all the answer you need. People will start telling you stories that you didn’t expect. This is definitely best practice:

I learned if you start asking you might not get the answers you want to hear at the beginning, but if you keep asking you will understand the value of those answers. Why don’t we ask for everything we want? Fear, there is always fear. Fear of rejection. „No“ can be a painful and strong word. How can we overcome this fear? I just say two words: “Jia Jiang“. He has an inspiring and encouraging story to tell. He explains how to turn a “no” into a “yes“. The magic is why, because sometimes what you offer does not fit the need. Do not miss his entertaining TED Talk! (Jiang, 2015)

As Jones (2016) explains it in her article: “Curiosity might have killed the cat but asking the question and learning something new might just lead to something fantastic. So go ahead and rekindle your curiosity.”

To improve my ability to not hesitate when it comes to asking for something I will challenge myself with the following tasks:

– Asking someone for help without feeling I have to give something in return

– Asking for a raise if I’m not satisfied with my salary (this is a big one for all the women – it is our responsibility to take action)

– to be continued …

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”
― Oprah Winfrey

I could not say it better. Open your eyes and take the chances and open your mouth and ask the relevant questions. Embrace the possibilities!

Reference list:

Jones, S. (2016) Linkedin. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-we-so-afraid-ask-questions-sharon-jones (Accessed: 30 December 2016).

Jiang, J. (2015) TED Talks. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/jia_jiang_what_i_learned_from_100_days_of_rejection (Accessed: 30 December 2016).

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