Is There an Art to Asking?

Most of us have been taught that you should never ask if you can do something yourself. Is “asking” always wrong or is there an art to an essential form of “asking?”

I recently came across an article by a fellow expert and motivational speaker, Judy Davis of called, “Go Ahead and Ask For It.” Judy very aptly discusses what I call “the art of asking,” explaining why asking is an essential art for personal growth, and when it is right and when it is not. See the footnote below for Judy’s full article and websites.

Judy admits that most people were raised that it is, at the very least, impolite, or even wrong to ask for something, whether it is help, support, or direction; many people have been led to believe that asking gives the impression that they are incapable of doing something for themselves.  These are concepts that Judy says are necessary to outgrow. An important opening quote from Judy’s article challenges us,

How can you generate anything new if you don’t ask questions?  Is it possible to create opportunities without asking for more information?  If you look at any successful person, they have developed the skill of asking for what they want. (1)

Here are paraphrases of Judy’s comments on asking the right way and for the right purposes:

-Find resources/people that can connect you to opportunities you cannot access on your own.
-Request help in a strategic, well thought-out way.
-Request help in a way that is mutually beneficial.
-Ask for what you need to move forward with your goals.
-Asking is a skill to be learned.
-There are appropriate times/situations to ask.
-Always be appreciative and express thanks.(1)


Here are paraphrases of Judy’s comments on what type of asking is not beneficial:

Do not ask for help because you are unwilling to do something yourself.
-Do not ask for something that is solely of interest to you.
-Do not ask because you feel entitled to the person’s help.
-Do not ask in a rude way.
-Asking should not stem from selfishness.
-Do not ask because you are expecting other to make things happen for you.
-Asking is not something you do with strangers; the ability to ask is something that is earned.
-Similarly, do not ask help of someone you have not helped before. (1)

Learn the “art of asking” to create new opportunities and move forward in your life.

Judy concludes her article by expressing that, when you ask following her guidelines, it enables you to be a better giver as well, another key to success:

By following these guidelines, your simple act of requesting help actually turns itself around, and you give more than you get. And that is what creates success. So ask away, and give even more, and see what the future holds.(1)

1.  Read Judy’s full article, Go Ahead, Ask For It!
2. Judy Davis, a.k.a “The Direction Diva,” is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, published author, and business owner. Judy’s websites are  Daily Direction Moments  and The Direction Diva.

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