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News Sept. 21, 2023

Make a request in a way that ensures follow-through

When you need to request something from a co-worker or direct report, it is important you ask in a way that ensures follow-through rather than a way that elicits a noncommittal response.

Harvard Business Review recommends breaking down your request into the following four elements.

  1. What do you want, and what would success look like? Be specific regarding your expectations and detail exactly what would constitute a job well done.
  2. Who do you want it from? When you make a request to a group of people, each person may assume someone else will do what you are asking, so be sure to choose a specific person.
  3. When do you need it? Give a specific timeline with your request. When you make your expectations clear, you will not need to spend time following up and checking your inbox.
  4. Why is it important? Explain what is behind your request so the person you ask has some context and understands its significance.

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