Ask for what you need: A’s story

After I wrote about asking for what you need, I received a message from my friend “A”:

“That was me a couple of weeks ago. I was passed up for a promotion. I was so ticked off that I wanted to leave the company…”

Ever been there? Ouch.

It’s so easy for feelings of frustration, confusion or resentment mount up. But instead, A climbed out of the negativity by asking for what he needed. Look what that turned into…

“I met with my CEO instead and asked why I wasn’t considered for the position. I wanted to know what to work on to move up in the company – and if she could help me get there.”

Ask for what you need. Introspection. Honesty. Courage.

“Honestly, I was nervous to meet with my CEO,” A said. “Turns out I scared her too, because she thought I had bad news!

“I knew it was important to speak with her after I got over my feelings. I realized my colleague had more experience and I’m grateful he’s leading our team. For me, it was a lack of training and not going after what I want. I needed to change that."

A’s CEO was receptive. “It was a really good discussion. She disclosed what she had in store for me. The promotion she has in mind for me is a better fit than my colleague’s role. I still asked her what she felt I needed to work on, and she gave me a list – and even offered to personally pay for my training.”

What a change – from almost disconnecting from the company to now having a shared vision for growth – all because A knew he needed to understand why. And can you imagine how lit up A’s CEO is now that they’re on the same page? It took A’s willingness to honestly reflect, and the courage to take action. Well done.

ICYMI: Leaders, it’s up to you to create a culture where people ask for what they need with clarity, respect and grace. Watch Simon Sinek’s “Why good leaders make you feel safe” >>

Have you had an “ask for what you need” moment lately? Tell me about it in the comments.

Coming up on #askforwhatyouneed: what asking for what you need doesn’t look like; how to deal when the answer is no.