We often spend so much energy and time avoiding difficult and awkward situations. We spend time contemplating the rejection we may face or toss around different scenarios in our head. Little do we know that sometimes, all we have to do is just ask.
I was driving in traffic the other day and something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye at a red light. I normally wouldn’t look over, but noticed a relentless motioning for me. When I looked over at the people in a work truck beside me, a man motioned over to me as if he needed to get into the lane I was in. He was in a tight spot. His lane was mandated to turn left and mine was to go straight. They’d made the wrong lane choice, for whatever reason, and instead of trying to race in front of me and cut me off, he simply motioned asking if he could come over. I gave him the thumbs up and he waved politely with thanks.
What if I hadn’t looked? I normally wouldn’t look. Another person needed some help in a simple situation. Unlike some who might just cut me off while thinking I should just deal with it, these humans interacted with humility. I “set the pick” while they continued straight and I followed in line.
It was a simple situation really, but it reminded me of an important fact. Sometimes, we just have to ask for what we need or want.
People cannot read each others minds. I equate this to the reason I landed a really cool job with a hockey team. I received some help from some really awesome people, but only after I told them I had an interest in pursuing full-time work with them. My boss seemed shocked. “Really, you want to do this full-time?” “Yup.” While I was surprised my desire didn’t show enough, it made sense that he didn’t know. I’d never said anything.
A simple conversation changed the course of my hockey career. I went from a person who was just doing a job for a little extra money to a person who was a bigger part of a team.
I encourage the employees who I supervise now to share their aspirations with me. “Are you here until you find something you are ultimately pursuing? Do you have aspirations to do this job full-time someday?” When a person shows a desire for something, it’s easy to help open doors for them as long as they are willing to put in the work.
This applies to driving, work, relationships, parenting, and most any communication. Sometimes, we just have to ask for what we are hoping for. The worst we may hear is no, and that’s really not so bad.