Episode 6: Strategy Requests


Connecting Across Differences is a podcast by Dian Killian, Ph.D. of Work Collaboratively about having greater empathy for yourself and others, and how to hear others more deeply and make sure that you’ve been heard.  Episodes are available on iTunes.

Listen to Episode 6:

This week’s podcast completes the 3-week focus on requests. In week one, I focused on the key distinction of all requests: that we’re open to hearing “no” and that the request is free of demand. In last week’s episode, I focused on Connection Requests, and how key these requests are to effective collaboration and finding solutions that work for everyone involved. In today’s podcast, I focus on making strategy requests that are clear/concrete, positive, and doable.

To illustrate how to make clear, concrete requests and how to blend strategy requests with connection requests, I focus on the story “Direct Action” from Urban Empathy (page 44) where I talk to a truck driver early one morning about turning off his engine when parked outside my bedroom window on Fourth Ave. in Brooklyn.

A key element of this conversation being a success was my willingness to start by saying, “Hi, how are you?” to the driver. This may seem easy and obvious but if you’re too angry or upset to even pause to ask how the other person is doing before jumping in, the conversation is probably not going to be effective or worth having.

Once having this opening connection, I shared my concerns with a clear observation, and let him know my needs (to rest, of course, and be able to breath easily — and ultimately awareness and consideration). After hearing his concerns, and making some connection requests and recapping, we came up with a solution that worked for the driver and also allowed him to turn his truck off each morning so I could sleep.

In terms of the final strategy request, making one that is clear/concrete, positive and doable made it more likely that the driver would say “yes” to the request and be able to act on it.  

To hear the whole story and how to formulate a clear/concrete, positive and doable request, listen to this week’s podcast. And be sure to listen to the last two weeks as well, to get a complete picture on how to make effective requests.

After you’ve listened to the episode here’s an exercise for you to try: The next time you’re unhappy about something, take a moment and focus on what you are wanting. Be as concrete as you can be. Imagine you’re seeing it in a camcorder. Then make any requests you have based on that clear vision.

In this episode, Dian references the story “Direct Action” from her book Urban Empathy. If you have the book you can follow along on page 44.

We’d love to hear what you’ve discovered! Feel free to post to the Work Collaboratively Facebook page.

You can also subscribe to the Connecting Across Differences podcast on iTunes. Please be sure to leave a review if you enjoyed the episode!

Thanks for listening– and be sure to tune in for our next episode in two weeks. If you’re enjoying our podcasts, please share them with your friends and family. The more people in your life who know how to connect with their feelings and needs, the easier you’ll find it to connect with them and come up with solutions that work for everyone involved!

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