Effectively Recruiting Your Team
Many times in your life you will make
requests of others: to join a group, committee or team, to perform a
task or to assist with a project. This month's question: How do you make
the ask? Often the key to getting to "Yes" involves how you
make your request.
Whether you are:
Building a board of directors
Forming a committee
Enrolling others in your team or workgroup
Seeking volunteers for a project
Follow these ten tips to hear those magic words: "YES, I'd be glad
Making "The Ask"
- Phrase your request in terms of the benefits to the listener.
Speak to "what's in it for them." Why will they benefit
from saying yes to your request?
- Be positive. Don't focus on why someone shouldn't
say yes or the negative aspects of their accepting your request. Focus
on the positives. Will the experience be fun? High profile? Build new
skills? Lead to a promotion? Add to one's résumé? Give
all involved a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction? Will it make
the world a better place? Focus on positives.
- Show respectand appreciation for
your prospect. When you recognize their skills, past track record,
personality or other qualities they in turn feel special. It's flattering
and affirming to be asked to participate.
- Give accurate and clear expectations of
what the position or role requires. It's tempting to tell people what
they want to hear, or only emphasize what is easy or fun, or undersell
the time commitment required. DON'T! Give a fair explanation of your
request. You don’t want them agreeing under false pretenses.
- Make sure to listen to the issues or concerns of
the listener. What are they worried about? How will they base their
decision? Strive to understand their needs, their fears and their constraints.
- Give your prospect an appropriate amount of time to make
an informed decision. Don’t pressure, manipulate or
overwhelm your prospect in hopes of their saying yes. This often
backfires later as they recant or demonstrate less than complete
- Strive for win-wins. Use flexibility and creativity
to find mutually acceptable outcomes. There are numerous ways you two
can find to make your proposition work for both parties.
- Accept their answer whether they agree to your request
- Should your initial request be rejected, consider a counter-offer or
secondary offer. Having a fallback offer allows your prospect to join
your team in whatever capacity they are able to.
- Thank them either way for their time and willingness
to consider your offer. By treating them with respect and care they
are more likely to say yes in the future.
Remember, their assent is
just the beginning. Now that they've put their faith in you as a leader
it is incumbent upon you to communicate your appreciation, convey your
support and provide valuable recognition along the way.
Credible leaders are credible communicators. They not only make the
ask so they get favorable responses, they also utilize their listening
and team building skills along the way to strengthen their bonds with
Accentuate your powers of persuasion with a better understanding of
how to appeal to colleagues, partners, co-workers, volunteers and interns
when popping your questions. Zig Ziglar was right: "You can have
anything in the world you want if you’ll just help enough other
people get what they want."
The getting is good…it's all in how you make "the ask!"
learn more about Craig's program Orchestrating Your Leadership
learn more about Craig's program Teaming With Success