13 Apr 2016

Power of Asking : ASK: ASK: ASK

There were 5 monkeys put inside a cage. There was a bunch of bananas kept on top of a ladder. Whenever one of the monkeys tried to take the bananas, group of scientists outside the cage, showered cold water on that monkey. Fearing this, none of the monkey was bold enough to take the bananas for a period of time. Now the scientist replaced the first old monkey with the first new monkey. When the new monkey was trying to climb up the ladder, the old monkeys started pulling the monkey down fearing the cold water shower. Surprisingly, the scientists had stopped showering cold water. After a point of time, all the old monkeys were replaced with the new monkeys. In spite of that, none of the monkeys were trying to take up the bananas. The question is ‘Why’. The monkeys were assuming that there would be cold water shower whereas in reality there was no sh必利勁
ower. Is the monkey story related to our daily experiences of decision making. Most of the TIME, we waste lot of time in assuming things, thinking this is how it has to be done or just follow people without asking for clarity.

An important learning from many management books is to apply the power of asking. In short, it talks about why it is important to ask to get what we want, to clarify assumptions and to communicate clearly. I was very hesitant from my child days and would never ASK fearing what others would think, what if I don’t get and what if I get a negative impression.

Learning from these books, I tried implementing the power of asking in my real life and would like to share a very practical incident that happened recently.
I had to travel to Oman (Muscat) for an international assignment through Oman Air. I travelled to the airport three hours before my travel to complete the check in formalities. When I was about to get the boarding pass, I really wanted to apply the power of asking. At the ticket counter, I asked the executive (a very beautiful lady) one question “Can you upgrade me from Economy class to Business Class’. She immediately responded, “Sir, the price difference between Economy class and Business calls is three time the cost. Would you be willing to upgrade”. I asked her “Please give me a free upgrade”. The stunning look given by this lady remembered me of my 10th grade maths teacher who used to stare even when we wish her for her birthdays. The young lady after aggressively replied “Sir, sorry. We regret to inform that a free upgrade at this point of time is not possible”. I was little rejected but was very happy since I was bold enough to apply the power of asking. If we ask, we either get it or not get it. If we don’t ask, we don’t get it either. So I was convinced asking is better than not asking.

After my check in and custom clearance, I was sipping a coffee and was preparing for the next day training program at a Coffee lounge close to the boarding area. Just 10 minutes prior to the boarding time, I see the young executive lady who issued me the boarding pass walking towards me with middle aged Woman. She reached me and said “Sir, we need your support”. Pointing to the Woman standing next to her, she said “Sir, this Woman travelling with you in the same flight has an economy class ticket .But there is a problem. Her mother who is also travelling in the same flight has booked business class ticket. Since her mother is not well and she wants to support her, her request is to exchange her mother’s business class ticket to an economy class ticket so that they both can sit close to each other. Since you were the first person to ASK for a business class, we wanted to offer this to opportunity to you. Would you please support”. [change] Instead of thanking her, I thanked my GOD and my BOOKS for enlightening me with some powerful thoughts that helped me to travel in an international business class without paying anything just by applying the ‘POWER OF ASKING’.

Go and Ask for what you want. By asking, either you get or you don’t get. By not asking, anyway you don’t get.

Which is better? Definitely asking.

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