Making a Request

At my job, we use rationales in order to teach social skills to the youth. I see how it really becomes a language and a way of life for my fellow colleagues. We teach the youth the steps of mastering any skill. It’s repetitive and sometimes the kids say we’re robots but as a behaviorist approach, it is successful.

Our society has severely slacked in practicing and teaching others how to productively socialize. It’s almost like an art to manipulation. If you want something, you should know how to get it. I’ve always told my brothers that if they wanted anything from me that they’d have to be nice about it. These are the steps to making a request.

    Making a Request:

-Look at the person.
-Use a pleasant voice tone.
-Ask in the form of a question using “please”.
-If you get a “no”, say “ok”.
-If you get a “yes”, say “thank you”.

This seems simple enough but it’s surprising how often, when you start paying attention, people don’t make requests. Especially at work, you hear a lot of demands. When we give the kids the rationale for making a request, we tell them that when they make a request, it’s more likely that they will get what they want.

I was just reminded of this simple skill while rushing for a bus. It’s not often that you can get a bus driver to let you on once the doors are closed. It’s even harder when they’ve already given you the signal to wait for the next bus.

Well I left for work on time but I stopped to buy a drink because I figured since I knew what I wanted that it would be quick. I didn’t factor in the new guy being trained and not being able to read the price list. Don’t you hate when you feel that one insignificant event, only minutes long, could effect your own fate?

I saw my bus from 2 streets away and thought “I’ll never make it.” I walked as it sat there and I realized the bus might be waiting for me so I started running. I had to wait at a green light so I could avoid being hit by a car. I watched as my bus approached the corner waiting for its own green light and I ran up to it as I saw a gap in traffic.

The bus driver gave me the ol’ next bus thumb. I know from the past that I could possibly wait a half hour for this bus and missing this bus could mean being pretty late to my far away job.

So I subconsciously “made a request”
-I looked at the bus driver through the bus doors.
-I used a pleasant voice tone by smiling and placing my hands together in prayer/begging mode.
-I asked in the form of a question by making my facial expression inquisitive and mouthing please.
-& When he opened the doors to let me in, I said “thank you so much!!”

I felt the need to write this down because I’ve been having really great days just practicing being able to communicate better. I teach these skills to my kids everyday but what I’m teaching, I’m also learning.


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