3 essentials for a great ask

A man asking four others

A young man talking with four other people

We recently held a workshop called Nurturing your Tribe. We were thrilled to find people with disabilities and their families attended with other people they had made an ask of; like becoming a housemate, or a friend whose strengths could help achieve something. We just loved playing a part in nurturing these vital relationships!

At one stage a young guy, Matt, stood up and spoke to us about being asked to become a housemate. He told us he’d known Chris at school and then after school they had continued to be connected in similar circles. Then he and his girlfriend were approached by another woman they knew, Jennifer, and asked if they were interested in considering moving out with Chris and sharing an apartment together. Both knew Jennifer- Chris was now employing her as his ‘lifestyle facilitator’ partly because she was so well connected.

Matt talked to us about the process of being asked and why he and his girlfriend said yes.

He told us that it was important to hear it from Jennifer because he knew she would be giving solid and trusted information – that it would be as she was saying.

He also gave insight into 3 essentials for a really powerful ask.

1. What’s in it for the person being asked

When you are making an ask consider what could be of benefit to the person being asked. Matt said it hit them at just the right time.Trying to move out into your first place in Sydney can be really hard. They were talking about moving out together but financially it was difficult. Chris’ offer involved financial assistance to make it work (in exchange for some roles and responsibilities with him). It was going to be a win for them.

2. What’s in it for the person

Matt told us that he had always been so impressed with Chris and could see what he had achieved so far in his life. He and his girlfriend were delighted to be asked to be part of helping Chris get further, of helping him take the next major step in his life. He said “we love being part of Chris’ story”. This is a big win for Chris.

3. What’s in it for a broader group or the community

Matt told us that he knew Chris had a wider support network, and could see how their contribution would help to strengthen this network and see the fruits of their efforts come to life. They wanted to be part of that network too and the bigger vision. This is a win for Chris’ parents, his brothers and his community.

So give it a go. Think of your ask in 3 parts. Imagine into all of them – don’t just think ‘what is in it for the person’ but also ‘what COULD be’. Check you have considered all of them. Let us know how you go.

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