How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

Nancy Stampahar

What's going on in your professional and personal lives that you can't take anymore? Is there someone frustrating you and increasing your stress level? Is there a situation or environment you dread experiencing? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need to do something different to make something different occur. You have a choice on how to react towards different people and situations. You have a choice to be effective, productive, happy and fulfilled. You deserve to be effective, productive, happy and fulfilled.

How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need
Follow these dialogue steps:

  1. What are the facts: seen, heard or sensed? "I saw, heard, sensed..."
  2. What are my emotions? "I felt..."
  3. Why do I feel this way? "Because I..."
  4. What future actions do I want/need? "In the future, I would want/need..."
  5. What will be the positive results of these future actions? "When you (state action), (state future results) will happen.
  6. Ask for their thoughts and obstacles. "What are your reactions to this? What would keep you from doing what I am asking of you?"

If you have tactfully and honestly tried to resolve your negative circumstances without success, you may need to cut your losses, walk away and let go. This may be the hardest option, especially at first; however, in the long run, it may be the best. You have to take care of your happiness first because you are the only person responsible for making your happiness happen, or not happen. There are professional ways to leave committees and jobs. There are respectful ways to end friendships and relationships.

Keep this popular phrase in mind, "If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got." It's up to you to do something about your negative, energy-draining circumstances. Go for it - get happy!

Nancy Stampahar is a nationally, sought-after organizational development consultant, trainer, and speaker, with a degree in human resource management. She is the author of the 2009 IPPY Award, inspirational, personal-growth book, peace, love and lemonade: a recipe to make your life sweeter. Stampahar owns and directs Silver Lining Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in adversity/change management, communication/conflict resolution, assertiveness/empowerment, leadership/supervisor development, sales and team building. Visit: and