Just Ask

July 19th, 2021 | Leadership Personal Growth
Just Ask

Excerpted from Chapter 22 of “Positivity” by Arti Halai

One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. – Chinese proverb

Why are people so reluctant to just ask for something they want?

I always say that, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”

Not rocket science, is it?

I live my life by the rule.  I’m happy to admit that if I don’t know something, I’ll always be the first to ask.

SatNav is great, especially for someone like me who has no sense of direction. However before it was available, going out on the road as a reporter was a real nightmare for me.  I was always getting lost on the way to somewhere or other and the added pressure of a looming deadline didn’t help.  Pulling the window down or getting out of the car to ask someone for directions proved to be a real lifesaver.

Yet, I know some people that will just keep on going in whatever direction, determined they know where they are, when they really don’t!

If I want guidance or advice on something to do with my business, I’ll call my key contacts and talk through the problem with them.

When someone has already achieved what you are trying to do, then chances are they’ll have the answers to your questions.

“There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” - Robert Francis Kennedy, US Attorney General and Adviser

Sitting in a restaurant, if I want the chef to make me something that is not on the menu, I’ll just ask.

What is the worse they can say?  No? Hardly the end of the world is it?

Then again, I might end up with a really special dish, which is exactly what I craved.

I’m not even afraid to ask for a hug if and when I need one.

Sometimes I’ll even ask someone if I can give them a hug – because hugs work both ways!

So why do we find it so difficult to ask for things?

Perhaps, it is because we might feel silly and small that we don’t already know the answer.  It may be because we don’t want to feel like we are in debt to someone or we owe them a favour. Or maybe it is just because we have never really been taught to ask for help

Try this…

In the space of a week just ask three people for help about something. It doesn’t matter whether you are asking for something or about something.

What happened?

Think about the type of questions you ask. How often do you start a question with why? Re-phrase that question using ‘what’ or ‘how’ instead of the why. What sort of response did you receive?

My friend always asks for a discount when going in to buy something at a shop. He takes his time and bonds with the sales assistant first. Then even if the item is on sale he just asks for more money off. Sometimes it will work a treat, and he ends up with a great bargain. At other times the sales assistant will stand firm, but end up giving him something else on top of his purchase. He rarely ever comes out without a little something extra. And all because he isn’t afraid to just ask for it.

I know some property developers. They built an iconic building in Birmingham city centre. When they had their grand vision, the people they were talking to kept saying “this can’t be done.” When they asked “why not?” nobody really had an answer. So they went on and built it anyway. Today it stands as a shining example about what can be achieved, when you just ask the right sort of questions.

And that is another thing. Take a moment to think about not only the question you are asking but also how you are asking the question. . You may have heard the saying, ask a better question and get a better answer.

I’m careful when I ask a question using the word, why. Often, unintentionally, it can lead us up the excuse or blame route. I prefer to use ‘what’ or ‘how’ at the start of a sentence instead. I find it gets both me and others thinking more proactively.

And then there are those times when you might not even get an answer to your question. Still you’ll never be worse off for asking it.

After all nobody has the answers to everything.  That is just life.

Still with nothing to lose and everything to gain, you job is to get on and just ask.

Note from Bob:  You’ve read only one of 30 incredible chapters in Arti Halai’s wonderful book!  You can read all 30 when you purchase your “Positivity” book today by clicking HERE

Arti Halai


Arti Halai spent more than 15 years as a tv presenter, reporter and producer in the UK. As an entrepreneur she is co-founder of two businesses that grew parallel and hit seven figures. A media and communications specialist, she has helped thousands of people design and deliver their messages achieving great results quickly.  Her third career is being mummy to a 5 year old daughter – and yes, it is a career. ArtiHalai.com 


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