Even if we are the richest people on earth, there comes a time when we have to ask for something. This proves that richness is never absolute. Even the richest person needs to ask people to do something for them. And when these people decline, it adds to the hurt.

A highly effective person is one who can ask for things in such a way, that people offer to do it for them. Can you do that? Can you achieve perfection in this all-important skill?

When you have to ask for something, you have to use the right approach. You shouldn’t be too humble about what you are asking and you shouldn’t be too proud either. Ask casually, as a friend would ask another. You should not ask arrogantly and not let the other person feel that they are doing a favor for you. Both extremes can have disastrous results in the long run.

So, when you are asking, have a smile on your face. Ask what you want directly, without hemming and hawing too much. Get straight to the point. Ask first, and then explain why you want that particular thing, again in very few words. Don’t beat around the bush. People should see that you are being practical about it. The demeanor should be thus—“I need something today, so I am asking you; when you need something tomorrow, I’ll help you out.”

Don’t feel inclined to go into detailed reasons for what you are asking unless the other person asks you precisely for it. If you are asking for money, you need not state the purpose in detail, but you will have to give a general idea to the person as to where you are going to spend their money—for an urgent hospital bill or to make a mortgage payment or to buy something. People like to know where their favors are going, but they don’t need to know too many details. That bores them.

Always make a promise as to when you will return what you are asking for, or how you will repay the favor later on. And stand by that promise when the time comes. This ensures good credit for you in the long run.

Above all, you need to remember that people are meant to help each other out in times of difficulty. If you are asking for help today, the tables may very well turn and someone will ask you for help tomorrow. Don’t disappoint them then. If you have a mind to help others out when you are able, people will read it and will extend your help today. 

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