I try to follow my own advice about being a good – and frequent – communicator. Recently, I got a little carried away. You may have heard my TEDxSMU Talk where I shared a story about Jay Leno. Years ago, I failed to ask for a picture with Jay while I was in the audience of the Tonight Show. Not asking was one of my regrets.
Two weeks after I told this story, Jay Leno was scheduled to perform in Dallas, my home town. We reached out to Jay’s agent, manager, and PR firm as well as launching a grassroots social media campaign asking for a photo with Jay while he was here. Apparently we were a little overzealous in our communication attempts. Jay’s office informed us “there is a fine line between asking outrageously and stalking.” Yikes.
Can good communication make you look like a stalker?
Not usually. However, have you considered what your actions communicate about you at work? We are almost through January. How are you doing on your goals for this year? If you have abandoned them (or never set any), you might concentrate on the four traits that employers really value.
Employers are looking for employees who:
Possess a positive attitude.
“Stand up and start up.” Take charge instead of waiting to be told what to do.
One of the keys to being a great communicator is asking for what you really want. Work drama and misunderstandings are often products of stress and people’s failure to express their true needs and wants.
Research for my new book, Ask Outrageously! The Secret to Getting What You Really Want, reveals:
65% of people are more comfortable asking on behalf of someone else (such as a child, employee, client or someone in their care). If you are stalling to make a request, then mentally reframe your reason to ask. Also, ask on behalf of who will also benefit. Are you afraid to ask for a raise? Then, ask for the increase on behalf of you, your spouse and your family.
33% of people will say “No” to a request if the person is inconsiderate or has bad manners. The Law of Reciprocity is in your favor. People who receive polite requests and considerate treatment often feel a need to reciprocate. People will go the extra mile if you are simply considerate and respectful. Try it – the next time you smile at someone see if they smile back.
25% of people feel more confident asking for what they want when they dress well. Your professional appearance goes beyond your clothes and hair. How do you show up? How is your grammar? Does your body language show you are willing to engage in conversation? Do you have a positive presence? Are you approachable and genuinely interested in others?
Stalker No More. Great news! The stalking miscommunication fiasco was cleared up. Four of us were given backstage passes to the show, and I finally got my photo with Jay Leno! Jay was very gracious and my new book has an amazing example of asking outrageously. What’s the moral of the story? When you ask and get what you want, stop asking and celebrate the success.
Journey On and Ask Outrageously!
P.S. Here’s another photo of me and my fellow “stalkers” with Jay Leno celebrating the success!
About Linda: A recognized authority on negotiations, workplace issues and strategic communication, Linda Swindling, JD, CSP is an author, media expert, a “recovering” employment attorney, and a professional speaker. Contact us to book Linda to speak at your event.