I was talking with a former client the other day about her recipe for getting what she wants from co-workers. It’s pretty smart!
Jadie was making requests, and she was tracking the responses the way Jeffrey taught her in his MBA class. Her success rate (the % of her requests for which she received actionable responses with only 1 email) had moved from 31% to 84% – not bad for someone who was not at the top of her corporation’s food chain. But she wanted to go all the way, so she made up a Request Template to use in her emails when she wanted something from someone. Here it is:
From: Jadie R.
Subject: Request for __________
What I’m asking for: __________
When I’d like to have it happen: __________
Why it matters to me: __________
Who else is involved: __________
It would be great if you’d let me know by the end of the day today whether or not you accept this request so I know if I can count on this happening at the time specified. As always, if making this agreement doesn’t work for you at this time, please let me know that too, or send me a counter-offer for what will work better for you. Thanks so much!
Best regards, Jadie
Jadie told me she always sent these out early in the workday so people had time to read it and check their schedules to see if they could do the task she was asking for. She said she added something about “Who else is involved” if that would be helpful for people to see a bigger context for her request. Sometimes she also added a line for Where or How if it seemed appropriate. And notice that she identified What she was requesting up in the Subject line.
It worked. She is up over 97% success on her requests now. But that’s not the best part, Jadie said. “The miracle is that my co-workers are starting to use the template too, making their own modifications. It looks I’m training people – even the higher-ups – to communicate better.”