Asking for a favour is difficult and awkward, especially if you are not very close to the other person. The success of your request depends on many factors. Research conducted by Tim Althoff, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil and Dan Jurafsky of Cornell University points out that “success of a request depends on factors like who is asking, how they are asking, when are they asking, and most critically what is being requested, ranging from small favours to substantial monetary donations”. Here are three tips you must remember when asking for favours.
1. The right way to ask a favour:
The Cornell study found that ‘clearly communicating need through the narrative is essential for getting a favour granted’. Avoid awkward conversations that begin with unusual chit chats. It portrays you as someone pretending to show interest in another person just to get their request granted. Instead, present your request first, with an option for them to deny. Then follow-up with a casual chat, even if your request is turned down.
2. Give them a reason:
In his famous book Influence, Robert Cialdini says that if you ask someone to do you a favour, always give them a reason as people react positively to the word “because”. Giving the other person the context or the circumstance under which you need the particular favour will increase the chances of your favour being granted.
3. Use Trojan Horsing:
This is a technique for those who want to embrace the dark side. Fans of Modern Family will be well aware of the technique ‘Trojan Horsing’. You begin your request by asking for an unreasonable favour that will be rejected for sure. Once it is rejected, follow-up with your original more reasonable favour. Usually, they will grant you the second request, as they are feeling bad for turning down the first one.
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