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Do me a solid?

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Your request for a favor should never assume that the request itself is a hassle. The way you ask is often the hassle.

In fact, people really love doing favors.

People generally want to comply with a request, if for no other reason than to avoid not complying. Some research shows that people are twice as likely to complete a request than the requesters thought they’d be.

When asking for favors:

Don’t beat around the bush. Americans hate indirectness. Just say what you want: “I’d like to ask you a favor. Here’s what I’m hoping you will do.”

No awkwardness. Provide an escape clause. It shows respect. Something like, “If you don’t have time or are not interested, I understand.”

Don’t offer a reward. First, it’s not necessary. People are equally likely to do a favor without a reward as with one. Second, it contaminates the pleasure people get from helping out. Being asked for a favor is flattering because it confers value. Just don’t do it too often.

— Adapted from “How to ask for a favor,” Ross McCammon, Entrepreneur.

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