A Powerful Phrase for Effectiveness

Some people’s ego deprives them of the benefit that comes from one of the most powerful approaches ever devised: asking for help. 

We see this play out every day, such as when someone refuses to ask for directions, fails to accept assistance on a project, or prefers to struggle through a situation alone.

One of the most powerful phrases in all of life is “I wonder if you could help me with something….”  This phrase breaks down barriers. In sales, it turns icy gatekeepers into warm and friendly allies. It turns busy and mighty executives into unhurried conversationalists happy to share their secrets and contacts.

Why does such a simple phrase have such a profound impact on people? The reason is that it feeds their egos and appeals to their good nature.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the authors of the “Chicken Soup for Soul” series, wrote a book on the subject entitled, The Aladdin Factor. The entire book was based on this simple and effective idea: Ask and you will receive.

The third principle to practice in the Disciple Without Stress approach is about reflection. The key to being effective in discipline as well as in any relationship is to hone the skill of asking reflective questions. The powerful request is one that anyone can use with a discipline problem. The adult merely asks the question, “I wonder if you could help me with something….”  Since the person you are asking is the cause of the discipline or behavior problem, employing this phrase is a wonderful, noncoercive, and very effective approach with which to start.