Ask more, tell less. Here’s your challenge for this week – when you have the urge to tell someone what to do (or what not to do), stop yourself. Telling can put people down, and it assumes that they don’t know what they’re doing. Asking empowers people, and it doesn’t make you seem like a know-it-all. It helps you build a better relationship. To give you an example, I’ll make the subject of my example my daughter, the most important thing in the world to me. In the short three years of being a mother, I’ve learned that giving her choices is the most successful way to accomplish whatever it is I need her to do rather than directly tell her what to do. If I want her to eat vegetables for dinner, I don’t just surprise her with broccoli. I ask her if she would like broccoli, corn, or cauliflower. If she chooses the vegetable, she’ll be more likely to eat it rather than put up a fight.
So, before you start telling someone what to do (or what not do), think about how you can turn the tell into an ask. It ultimately may help you build a better relationship with whomever you are asking versus telling.