Have you made a big ask lately?
Is your stomach in knots just simply reading the question?
Do your hands clam up, throat dry out, rehearsed speech can't be found anywhere in the brain?
I'm all of the above! because it's a pretty big deal! and it takes the right amount of humility and confidence to do this.
I define a big ask as approaching someone of influence and importance to you with an extraordinary request.
i've been making big asks lately. Not all have been successful, but all have been beyond me.
My requests are pouring out of me as I seek endorsements for my book, but they come from us for a variety of reasons:
needing a loan
approaching a judge or government official
seeking that first date, second date, blessing, hand in marriage
securing a business deal, job interview
receiving a critique or assessment
what are some others?
here's what i'm learning about making the big ask:
first and foremost, you are not where you are without God's grace and presence in your life. in everything we do, which certainly includes this, we need to acknowledge our place and God's place. this will make all the difference in the world. at least in your approach and the outcome!
do the research.
what's going on in their world? (traveling, conferences, projects, family matters)
how do they like to be reached? (email, phone call, in person conversation, social media) i sent a video to one. made a cold call to another. set up a FaceTime chat with someone else. i've sent several emails.
why them? knowing this answer will drive your ask.
time is precious to us all. don't take up all of theirs. keep wording concise and clear. be comfortable in their presence. (as best you can!)
ben models this well. he knows what's going on in people's worlds and makes everyone feel comfortable, whether he's making a big ask or not.
say a prayer.
not to get what you want, but to receive what you need. as Christ followers, we want God's best for us and for them. we want God to be present. we want God's favor, His distinction as we pursue His purpose, which certainly involves having others come alongside us.
surrender your will. invite His peace into the situation. ask for wisdom (He gives generously). put your faith in God, not in the person.
a request can fall into the great abyss of the inbox, get swallowed up by newer mail or sink down where the scrolling fingers never go. give adequate time for a response. when you think you should reach out, give it 24 more hours! us big askers can be overly zealous!
repeat steps 1-3 before a follow up. then make the big ask even more concise than the first. if God is truly directing our steps and nothing comes from the follow up, always find a way to say thanks.
"I appreciate all you are doing to fulfill God's purpose for your life. Thank you for being available for me to reach out. " or "Thank you for being available for me to reach out to you. I applaud your work and will continue to learn from you." (NOTE: do not attempt this in regards to relationship asks! those are on a case by case basis!)
if there is favor with the ask, we all feel like our gratitude pales in comparison to what they do for us. chances are they aren't wanting a singing telegram or fanfare. nevertheless, they deserve our thanks. also include how their influence, help, leadership or direction helps in your endeavor. consider a hand-written note at the very least.
what are you learning about making big asks?