Not until I hit rock bottom – so even at really low points in my professional career, I still wouldn’t go in to speak to my manager about what I wanted. Things that could help alleviate some of my challenges, or really get me to where I wanted to go. I had a variety of reasons. Sometimes I wouldn’t go ask because I was concerned I might sound selfish, like I was asking for something that was completely out of bounds.

Sometimes I didn’t want to go in and ask for things because I thought it might make me appear weak, as if I wasn’t capable of meeting expectations or doing what I was asked to do. There were also times where I just felt like, have I earned the right? Do I really deserve this? Well, I was at that organization for over 10 years, so I probably did deserve it.

Possibly you are in a bit of a similar situation, where you have a particular challenge or you’re frustrated about something, and you just haven’t gone in and asked for what you want. I want to encourage you that first of all, you have an instinct of whether or not you actually deserve this. If this is something that you’ve rightfully earned, that you’re not just going in on day two of a new job and asking for the world – I have trust and confidence in you that you are at a place in your professional career where what you’re going to ask for is probably rightfully earned, or it should be coming with the territory.

So have that confidence to go in and simply lay out the facts and ask for what you want.

I also want to share that if you are approaching this appropriately, then you’re most likely not going to come across as selfish or weak. If you really are prepared and you approach it in the right way, asking for what you want potentially will showcase strength that you have as a leader, whether that’s formally or not. So as you think about asking for what you want, I want to give you a couple of thought starters here.

First of all, be really clear that what you’re about to ask for is exactly what you want. Do not have a reaction or idea and go bursting in to have this conversation with your manager. Take time, make sure it’s what you really want. Set up the time to prepare, know what that is, have your case ready, rehearse it if you can, and then finally, be ready and open to having some resistance. Oftentimes, when you go in and ask for what you want, even if it seems to you so obvious, so rational, there may be some resistance from the person you’re making the request from, for whatever reason.

So be open to the idea of and prepared that you may meet some resistance, and know whether or not you’re open to negotiating at that point, or whether you’re putting a stake in the ground. These are some things that again, you should be crystal clear about what you’re asking for, prepare for it, know you are going to be open to some resistance, and be prepared regarding whether or not you want to negotiate. Let’s unlock your X factor!