Are you confident enough to ask for what you want?
I recently spoke to a group of people who are between jobs. Understandably their focus is on positioning themselves to be attractive to employers during the interview process. But is that the right mindset?
My experience has been that trying to please the other party, in any discussion or negotiation, signals that you’re hungry. You know from experience what it’s like to deal with someone that’s hungry. They have no confidence in themselves which makes it difficult for you to feel confident in your dealings with them. You’ll have serious doubts about whether they’re working in your best interests or their own.
I suggested to the audience that they have a clear picture of what type of culture they want in the company that employs them as well as the type of work they want to do. Write these things down and review them twice daily…once when you rise and just before bed. These reviews help us stay focused on what’s truly important to us.
I also suggested that sometime during the interview they share with the interviewer what they are looking for in a job and the culture of the company. By letting the interviewer know that they have expectations that must be met before they’d consider taking a job, they appear confident which, as you know, is an attractive quality.
We are all attracted to confident people. They are more open to new ideas, able to make decisions quickly, act upon their decisions with alacrity and are simply more fun to work with.
Conversely, people who lack confidence have a more difficult time making decisions…and acting upon their decisions. As you well know, dealing with these folks is often frustrating and draining.
The people interviewing you will have had the same experiences. So when you demonstrate confidence by telling the interviewer the things that are important to you, you let them know that you’re not hungry…that you’re not going to accept just any job that comes along. That confidence is attractive and will go a long way to piquing their interest in you.
I’m sure that some of you are wondering “What if it doesn’t pique their interest? What if it turns them off?” Then I’d ask “Is that really the type of company (manager) that you’d enjoy working with? I think not.
Confident, not arrogant
If you’re wondering “Won’t I sound arrogant if I tell the interviewer what I’m seeking?” Not unless you come off sounding like you’re making demands.
You can soften the communication by prefacing it with “the things that are important to me are…” That simple phrase makes your communication candid without being demanding, informative without being dictatorial, confident without being arrogant.
This blog has been framed in the context of people seeking employment, but in reality this type of communication will help in any interaction with another human being. You must be confident enough to ask for what you want. Failing to do so isn’t fair to the other party or yourself.
It isn’t fair to the other party because if they don’t know what you want, they can’t determine whether or not this relationship will be a good fit. Nor can you. It’s essential for any relationship that all parties understand what the other is seeking.
When considering any relationship, make sure that you understand what the other party wants and that you have communicated what it is that you desire. Then and only then can the two of you make an informed decision.
For our kids
Teach them the importance of understanding the other party’s needs and communicating their desires open and honestly. Better yet, live the message. When they observe you confidently, yet kindly, letting others know what’s important to you…what you want from the relationship, they’ll adopt your behavior.