Deep thoughts for my HR friends and managers of people doing hard work in the field this week:
“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head. If you want confusion and heartache, ask vague questions. If you want uncommon clarity and results, ask uncommonly clear questions.”
— Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss
I'm a big believer that all of us can be better negotiators. At times, that requires cutting through the bulls**t and rather than dancing around the issue, asking very specific questions designed to box someone in related to how they feel and what you want - rather than worrying about this thing some call "feelings".
Examples of the specific ask by HR pros:
--If I source these candidates for you, are you actually going to hire someone?
--I'd like to be in charge of that project. Will you support me in that and assign it to me?
--Why did you offer that person less than the person who went to your Alma Mater?
--Did you put both of your hands on Janet's shoulders? (follow up: "creepers")
Ping me with your specific asks/questions from the HR hall of fame. And they next time you're dancing around the real issue, remember this advice from Tim Ferris and start asking uncommonly clear, specific and direct questions.
You'll be shocked at the results you get. Nobody dies, and you either get what you wanted or save 3 hours doing follow-ups trying to get to the same point.