157: Outrageous Asking for Outrageous Results with Linda Swindling

By May 19, 2017Podcasts

 

 

Linda Swindling shares how to boldly ask for—and receive—more.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The right way to think about asking for more
  2. The drivers of asking discomfort—and practice approaches for overcoming them
  3. The main factors that drive whether   a “yes” or “no”

About Linda

From the courtroom to the boardroom, Linda knows firsthand about influencing decision makers and asking outrageously. She practiced law for 10 years and is now a “recovering” attorney, popular speaker, executive coach and strategic consultant. She recently presented at TEDxSMU on the topic, “Why the World Needs You to Ask Outrageously,” and her newest book, Ask Outrageously! The Secret to Getting What You Really Want, will be released by Berrett-Koehler in June 2017.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Linda Swindling Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Linda, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Linda Swindling
Thanks Pete!

Pete Mockaitis
Now, I got a real kick out of a time that you asked for something outrageously.  And your last name is Swindling, and you made an outrageous ask to get that name prominently placed somewhere.  Tell us the story.

Linda Swindling
Yeah, can you believe that?  The Swindling attorney.  And I had actually practiced with a Linda Tricky one time, if you believe it.

Pete Mockaitis
Tricky and Swindling, attorneys of the law.

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  I know it was kind of a crazy request, but my partner was about to change the name of the firm to add somebody, and I said, “You know, you should add me too.  It’ll make us look bigger, it’s better than “Your offices of, and associates”, ’cause we were growing.  And I had a book coming out, and I said, “If my name was in the law firm name, I would use the name of our law firm in the jacket.”  And he said, “Really?  No way.”  And then he went home and thought about it and might have had some influence from another decision maker, like the one he was married to, and he came back and he goes, “No, I like it.  I like it.  Let’s do it.”  And so, yeah.  I think that when people say, “Are you sure you know how to negotiate?”  I say, “I got Swindling in a law firm name”, and they’re like, “Okay, yeah.” [laugh]

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that is fantastic.

Linda Swindling
Great, huh?

Pete Mockaitis
And so, now I love the title of your upcoming book here, Ask Outrageously!  And this reminds me of one of our most popular episodes ever, was Andrea Waltz with Go For No!, which was a hit, Episode 16 there.  And so I think there’s more to be said about going for it.  And so, tell us – what do you mean by “outrageously” when you say “ask outrageously”?

Linda Swindling
It’s actually ask for more than you think you deserve, ask outside your comfort zone.  And a lot of us hold ourselves back for all sorts of reasons, but ask for more and see what happens.  And really get into the practice of asking for more and just seeing how it lands and what happens.
Pete Mockaitis
Okay, now that’s an interesting phrase – “more than you think you deserve”.  So can you give us an example of how that can come to life?

Linda Swindling
Sure.  Salary negotiations – you are about to be hired and you’re in salary negotiations and you say to yourself, “Well, maybe I should just accept what they’re offering.  They probably know what the market is.”  No, ask for something more.  Ask for more vacation, ask for better benefits, ask for moving expenses, ask for a bigger pay increase.  ‘Cause here’s what happens: We had many many respondents that said, “Wow, I should have asked for more when I was hired, ’cause later on I found out everybody else’s starting salary was more, they got more vacation.  I could have had it if I just asked.”

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  That’s understood.  And so I guess I’m thinking about the nature of “more than you think you deserve”, I guess what I’m imagining from a salary perspective is, “Okay, I’ve done my research on all the websites and have a sense for the salary range.”  And then I don’t know, I think if I were in those shoes and I asked for a number that was clearly above the range, I might be thinking or wondering… I don’t even know if I believe it myself that I should have it.  And so, how do you tackle that one?

Linda Swindling
You tackle it by not making that your very first outrageous ask.  That’s the very first thing – you’ve got to get into the habit of everywhere you go asking questions and asking for a little bit more.  So, I think that’s one of the biggest problems – people wait to negotiate and ask for things until it really counts, and that’s crazy.  It needs to be just second nature – you just ask.  So, that would be the first thing I would say.

Secondly is, you want to have a good story behind why do you deserve more.  So perhaps it’s something that you learned that nobody else has, or maybe if you’re asking for a raise, perhaps it’s the expertise you bring or the outcomes you’ve already had.  And you say, “You know, based on this, I’m going to be able to do more in the future for you.  I’m going to be able to do these things in the future.”  So it’s showing them, “I’m worth it because I’m going to bring these things to you.”

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very good.  And so then, can you share with us some everyday living life times and examples in which you might get some of those practice reps in of asking for a little more?

Linda Swindling
Oh, absolutely.  You want to hear the one thing that people won’t ask to do?

Pete Mockaitis
How can I say “No”?  Yeah, we do very much want to hear that.

Linda Swindling
This is the biggest.  This is more than asking to borrow money, this is more than asking someone out on date in your personal life, this is more than asking for a raise.  Take a big deep breath, here we go.  The biggest thing people will not ask for is to cut in line.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.

Linda Swindling
Yeah, can you believe that?  And think about it – when you’re grocery shopping and you’ve got a big cart full of stuff, a big buggy full of food, and you see somebody behind you with just two items, don’t you say, “Hey, please, go ahead of me”?  Yeah.  Most people though won’t say, “Do you mind if I go ahead of you?”  Is that crazy?

Pete Mockaitis
It’s interesting.  In some ways I feel it in my belly that that would be hard to do, but at the same time my rational brain knows that that’s really low stakes.  The worst you’re going to get is a disgusted look and they say, “Are you kidding me?  No!”  That’s the worst that’s going to happen from a total stranger.

Linda Swindling
Right.  And to increase, all you have to say is “Because”.  Believe it or not, there’s a study out – you just say “Because”.  And it can be even, “Because I’ve got an errand to go run” or, “Because I’m running late on time.”  You can even say, “Because I don’t like waiting in lines.”  That’s crazy, but just anything that follows “Because”.

So you’re at the grocery store, you pick up one item and you go stand behind someone with a big cart full of things and say, “Hey, do you mind if I go ahead of you?  I’m just picking up this one thing.”  Which is true, ’cause you’ve just picked it up.  And see what happens.

You may have heard this before: Go somewhere where people are used to others asking.  So you want to go to a flea market, you want to go to a garage sale, you want to go somewhere where people are constantly asking for things.  When my kids were young, I would go and buy Little Tikes toys, which are the dinosaur bones of our generation, ’cause those plastic things are never going to dissolve – the little slides and the cars and all that.  And I would short myself – I’d only put $10 in my pocket, or $5.  And I would go up and I’d say, “I see that this is $35.  Would you take $5 for this?”  Worst case what are they going to say?

Pete Mockaitis
“No way!”

Linda Swindling
Right.  And that’s fine, ’cause I didn’t need it.  But I’ve practiced.  And so you want to practice asking until you get a “No”.  Back to the grocery store – you’re at the grocery store, ask somebody something simple like, “Hey, which tomato looks better to you, this one or this one?”  Or, “Hey, I noticed you have this bread in your cart.  Do you like this bread, ’cause I haven’t tried this brand?”  Or go to the deli counter and say, “Hey, I know that these are all on sale.  Which three do you like the best?”  Or, “What’s your favorite out of this one?”  And ask people; just ask them outrageous questions.

Have you ever gone into a store and they won’t even make eye contact with you?  They’re on their phone or they’re talking about their dates or whatever it is.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh sure.

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  Say, “Hey, I hate to interrupt you.  Would you mind helping me with this?”  Just ask them; interrupt them.

Pete Mockaitis
Now when you say “them” and “they”, are you talking about shoppers or the people who are supposed to be assisting you?

Linda Swindling
No, the sales people that are supposed to be helping you, or the stocker.  Not stalker, but stocker – putting things on the shelves person, not the one following you around.  And say, “Do you mind…”  And they’ll say, “Yes, it’s on Isle 13.”  “Do you mind showing me where that is?  Would you should me where that is?”  What are you doing?  You’re giving them a chance to serve you better.  That’s perfect.

So, little things: “May I have free dessert?”  You know in fast food, it’s not fast, if you’ve ever sat in a fast food line.  When I get up to the line, I say, “That really wasn’t fast.  Do you mind…”  And I’ll ask them for something.  Adding some fries to my order for free, upgrading me to this, giving me a hot apple pie – whatever it is, whatever restaurant you’re at.  And see what they say.  And if they say “No”, that’s alright; it probably wasn’t good for you anyway.  But if they say “Yes”, it’s a win, you’ve practiced.

Pete Mockaitis
Now, Linda, what I really dig is that you brought it home.  That’s a whole lot of ways that you could practice every day and get sort of in the groove.  And it’s interesting, because I think inside our own internal emotional calibration to this stuff, it’s like there have been times in my life or when I’m in the mood that that’s just sort of fun – it’s a thrill and I enjoy it and it’s like, “Let’s see what happens”, it’s just kind of an exciting adventure.  And there are other times in life that it’s like, “Oh no, I’ don’t want to be an inconvenience.”  And so, can you maybe talk a little bit about that emotional layer here, in terms of reframing some perspectives or talking some sense into ourselves so we can kind of go after that?

Linda Swindling
Sure.  The very first thing, Pete, you’re saying it’s a game.  About one out of five say, “This is a game.  This is fun.  And sometimes it’s not worth it.  We don’t want to deal with this; it’s too much pressure.”  It’s the other four out of five that they’re just, “Oh, I don’t want to be embarrassed, I don’t want to hear ‘No’.”  The three big reasons most of us don’t are we don’t want to overwhelm or bug somebody that we’re asking, we are afraid that we may not use the right words – we may not get our message across correctly, or we may look stupid.  I don’t look stupid or embarrass myself.

And once you get over that, those three first off are not the reason why people tell you “No”, but the big thing is once you say, “You know, I’m just going to go ahead and ask, even though I feel uncomfortable doing it, and just feel the fear.”  And the practicing outside of work or even practicing inside of work – asking a coworker to help you or asking for something from a different department or asking a vendor or a supplier for something – once you kind of get into the groove of doing that, knowing, “Yeah, it’s uncomfortable but I survived”, and reminding yourself this is not the first time someone’s asked them something.

Once you can remind yourself that, then it starts becoming second nature.  And the highest high stakes dealmakers will tell you, it really is no different.  You go into a garage sale or a grocery store or whatever and asking for help feels no different than making a mult-imillion dollar deal.  It’s that same kind of excited energy, adrenaline rush, a little bit of the fear factor.  It all feels the same.

Pete Mockaitis
And so you’re saying just get that acclamation associated with it and you’re all good there.

Linda Swindling
Exactly, exactly.  And I keep quoting things, but I was nervous about asking people to take a survey.

Pete Mockaitis
I bet.

Linda Swindling
Here I’m the expert on asking outrageously, and I was nervous to ask.  And I had promised the publisher that I would have a significant amount of people.  And I had 500 people, which is a good amount, but my other surveys were 800 and over 1,000.  And about two weeks before it was due, I put a little call out to my friends and said, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?  I’ve run the survey for almost four months and I only have 500 people.”  And guess what they told me?

Pete Mockaitis
“We will help you promote it.”

Linda Swindling
They said, “Have you asked people?  Have you asked people to actually take it?”  I said I’ve tweeted it a couple of times and I buried it on my e-tips. And they said, “Well, that’s not really asking.  Why don’t you ask people and tag them?”  And so, the statistics came about because just in doing that in less than two weeks we had basically doubled the amount.  We had over 1,000 people take the survey.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s so good.  If I can get you to stop for a minute there.  So, you asked them and tagged them – this is just on Facebook?  What are the actual tactics?  If I want to double my next listener survey, what do you do there?

Linda Swindling
I asked them and tagged them on Facebook.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s on Facebook, like “John, Mark, Pat, Fred, did you take the survey?”

Linda Swindling
Exactly, yes.  The worst event that happened was Facebook said, “You have had too many people.  No more tagging for you.”  And they put me in Facebook timeout where I couldn’t tag for a while – three days or something like that – but my friends were still tagging.  So I did that and then I did some LinkedIn and tweeted, but mainly it was Facebook for me.  And they know; I mean they’re all my friends or they’ve sat through a speech I’ve done or they know me through a something, and they just needed to be reminded, “Oh yeah, Linda’s doing that survey now.”

Pete Mockaitis
That’s great.  And so did you have any magic words in there?  You talked about the “Because”, or did you say, “Since you’re such a helpful person…”  Or was there any kind of magic copy to be used?

Linda Swindling
That’s perfect, a perfect question.  You know what?  You don’t want to do that.  You actually want to just ask out right.  We are so busy putting words in front of things.  “Hey, because you’re such an important person and because you’re blah, blah, blah.”  And immediately all of us, our smell factor kind of goes off, we’re like, “That doesn’t smell right.  That doesn’t meet the smell test.  What does she really want?”

But instead I said, “I’ve got a big outrageous ask.  Would you guys take the survey?  Would you be willing to take the survey and would you be willing to ask 10 of your friends to take it?”  And then I had the link.  And then I had the extra stuff, which is what it was about, and “Here’s my TEDx talk that I’m going to do”, and things like that.  But yeah, I don’t put all the fluff in front of it.  Think like a little kid.  Have you been around little kids who want a something – a toy, candy, something?

Pete Mockaitis
Yes, I’m imagining this right now.

Linda Swindling
Or maybe you at one time, right?  They just ask.  And they ask and they ask and they ask, and eventually they wear you down and you give it to them.  Or they get in trouble – one of those two things, right?  But we’re so busy trying to perfect exactly the way we say it or making sure we’ve done our research.  In fact, that’s one of the biggest pitfalls.  The biggest response we got on something was, “How do you get ready, how do you feel more confident when you’re asking big?”  And oh my gosh, we had 800 and some-odd people say, “I know all the details” or “I’ve done all my research.”  And that has little to do with why people tell you “No”.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  And what are the main drivers between the “Yes” and the “No”?

Linda Swindling
Well, what we think are… We think, “I didn’t have all my research”, that “Maybe I asked them at the wrong time”, or they didn’t have money.  Those are kind of what we think it is.  No, it’s two things: One is, people say, “When this person came to me, I don’t trust them.  I don’t respect or trust them.  And so if I don’t like, trust or respect you, and that’s what you should be doing, is building your report with me, having me trust you, doing some trustworthy things instead of piling details and research on me.”  So that was the first one.

The second one was even more interesting: “They’re asking me for the wrong thing.  So it’s inappropriate.  “They’re asking me for something that’s just not appropriate for me to give them.  So I’m not in the right role, this is not something that we give, you’ve just targeted the wrong person for the wrong thing.”

So those two were just big “A-ha’s”  So we’re all worried about, “Here I’m going to pile on some more information and I’ve got to time it exactly right and boy, they better have the money.”  And that’s not what it is.  It’s, “I would have given it to them if I liked them, I trusted them, if I respected them.  I don’t.  I don’t even know them.”  Or,  “She’s asking me for something that I just can’t give.”  It’s like going into a hardware store and saying, “I’d like a chicken fried steak.”  You’re not going to get it there.  And so, that was a big surprise.  And I saw it.

So, that’s part of your preparation, just figuring out who’s the right person and can they give me what I’m asking for?

Pete Mockaitis
And so I guess when you talk about reasons for people saying “No”, I think in the sales context.  Maybe this just falls into the category of inappropriate, but I’m just thinking, “We’re going with somebody else who’s a better fit.”  Depending on how broad we make that “inappropriate” category, I guess we could subsume that.  But are there other top reasons, or these are the two?

Linda Swindling
Those are the two.  There is one that kind of deals with the information-gathering – it’s the person can’t respond intelligently to the questions about their request.  They’re making a request and then I ask them for some follow-up that any ordinary person should know, and they can’t even respond to me.  So a lot of times consultants or sales people or independent people, someone will say, “Well, how much do you charge?”  And instead of saying, “I’m $100”, or whatever the fee is, “I’m $100,000”, we hem haw around: “Well, you know, it could be this, it could be this.”  And people are like, “You don’t even know what you charge?  I know what I charge.”

So it could be that.  It could be that you say, “Well, what are you going to use this for?  So why is this important?”  And they look at you with just dear in the headlight kind of looks, kind of stares, “I don’t know.”  Well, “I don’t know” is, they didn’t know enough about their request and why they wanted it.  But usually most people will grant.  It’s amazing – people just grant you things just by asking.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  So now I think there’s another bit of potential resistance here, in terms of folks who might not just run sprinting towards full-blown outrageous asking, and that could be that we don’t want to feel like a taker and aggregate, I guess, in terms of there could be an individual request and maybe we should just get over it, like, “Okay, people are not as cold and unyielding as you make them out to be, that people are generally willing to help.”  But I think that we also don’t want to be just sort of takers, in terms of, “I am greedy or getting everyone else to do my stuff for me”, or what not.  So how do you respond to the, “I don’t want to be that kind of a person” sort of resistance piece?

Linda Swindling
Right, that is a comment.  People are much more comfortable, 2/3 so, of asking for someone else.  They’re making the same request but they’re making it on behalf of someone else.  So, I can ask for money for a donation for an organization but not for myself, or I can ask for some consideration, “Think about this employee under my care” instead of asking for myself.  Same request, just it benefits others.

So there is that greediness, we’re so worried about being greedy.  And we’ve been socialized to do this – we have been educated that it’s better to give than to receive, it’s better to do what’s best for our country than do what’s best for us.  So that is ingrained.  And a lot of us have it in religion, but there’s also lots of things that you were raised with that counteract that.

So that’s one of the primary things – let’s say it’s Christianity – everybody points to the Bible: “Oh, you’re supposed to be humble and give”, and everything else.  Yeah, but there’s all these voices, all these passages, verses about, “Ask and you shall receive”, “Knock and the door will be opened”, “Seek and you shall find.”  So, that’s one thing.  It’s looking at the conditioning and saying, “That’s interesting.  I wonder where that came from.  I wonder why I think that would be greedy, or if someone asks me, that wouldn’t be greedy for me.”

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  Just flip it, sure.

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  And there is a workaround, and the workaround is this: Let’s say you do want to ask for a raise, ’cause that’s one of most popular requests.  And by the way, the odds are in your favor, Pete, if you ask for a raise.  Did you know that?

Pete Mockaitis
Do tell – how much so?

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  By 1% more.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  51%.

Linda Swindling
Yeah, 51% of the people asked for and received a raise, and out of that 9% of those people got more than what they asked for.  Crazy, right?

Pete Mockaitis
That’s great.

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  So, that’s in your favor.  So a workaround for you for raises, let’s say, is think about who else will be touched, will be benefited if you get that raise.  So if I get that raise, my family and I can move from this apartment to a home.  If I ask and get more vacation, I will be able to take a trip finally.  If I ask and get something on my behalf, who else?

So, for me a workaround in law school when I was so scared to ask questions … in their eyes, “Oh my gosh, what stupid question’s being asked now?”  I had two workarounds – one was, “There’s other people in this classroom who don’t know those.  I’m not the only stupid one here.”  So when I ask a question it helps other people, it benefits other people.

The other workaround was: “What’s worse?”  “What’s worse – explaining to your husband, who is also going to school and delivering pizzas so that you all can stay in school, that you were too scared to ask a question about something you didn’t understand?  Is that worse than asking a question and being embarrassed in front of these people that can’t hire you?”  Yes, it was.  It was more embarrassing to say, “Hey, honey, I flunked out of law school ’cause I wouldn’t ask a question.”

So, that is another workaround: What’s worse – living with a salary, working with this team, living in this area, whatever it is.  What’s worse than asking?  And if you can worst case and say, “No, this other thing is worse.  I’d rather know, I’d rather ask and be a little uncomfortable for a little bit than have to live with the result if I don’t.”  And that’s one more thing – a third of us have not asked for something big and then watched somebody else get it.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  That’s persuasive.  So now maybe you could demonstrate it for us, and this will probably be very short and quick and easy, based on what we’ve discussed.  So let’s say here you are, you’re in the workplace, you need some help from someone else in another department.  How would you demonstrate a model ask for that assistance?

Linda Swindling
So, if I can, I want to go face-to-face.  And I’d walk up to them and say, “I need some help” or, “Can you help me?” or, “What’s the process to do this?”  And I will just ask them.  I wouldn’t build it all up, I wouldn’t tell them why it’s in their best interest.  I would go and ask them.  I’d have the back up.  “Why do I need to help you?”  “Well, it’s in both of our interests because this is going to make us work smoother, or this will allow you to not be part of this team.”  But I would just flat out ask them first and then just wait and see what happens.

And this is a big one, Pete: Do not put two or three asks ahead of it to try to build up; don’t do a lot of talky-talky to get them to like you.  Just say, “Hey Pete, I’ve got a request.  Can you get these reports in to me at 2:00 o’clock on Mondays?”  And you say, “Well, that’s really rough.”  “Well Pete, we have a 3:00 o’clock meeting every Monday, and that way I could give them the updated forms.”  “Oh, okay.”  A lot of times you just need that reason.  So just ask them, see what they say.  They don’t even know.  We are so afraid, and the big thing is people don’t even know what we want.  We’d been thinking about it for months.  Give them an opportunity to respond and even if they respond “No”, it may be because they need to think about it a little bit longer.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  Very good, thank you.  Well, Linda, is there anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Linda Swindling
Oh absolutely, absolutely.  So, the big thing for a lot of people – a lot of people say, “Well, women don’t ask.”  And there’s actually books and studies about that.  What women are afraid of a lot of times is they’re afraid of the word “negotiation”.  Does that sound like a swear word?  Negotiation.  Oh, so scared, right?  It’s too long for most swear words.

Pete Mockaitis
It has to be no more than four letters.

Linda Swindling
Right.  So negotiation – if you are actually working with someone or coaching or you’re in a relationship with someone who’s worried about negotiation, just say, “All we’re asking you to do is you ask a couple of questions, he or she’s going to respond to you with a couple of questions.  You might provide some information and you can kind of see if there’s going to be an agreement.”  Which is what a negotiation is.  You’ll change those words to just, “I think you can do it.  Nobody else is more prepared to do that.  Go ahead and just ask, and walk them through that.”

A lot of the encouragement is what people said, “If someone would just encourage me I’d be better.  I’d be better asking”, or “I just hadn’t ever had someone say they saw me as a leader or they saw me as someone that could ask for something like this.”  So that’s a big one.

And another one is, we are no different in our personal life or our professional life when it comes to asking.  It’s about the same.  So statistics say you’re about as effective in your personal life as you are in your professional life.  So if you feel more comfortable personally asking, then start beefing it up in professional and say, “You know what?  The statistics say it’s still the same.”  Just talk yourself into it.

Pete Mockaitis
Right, that’s good.  And I believe it.  On the one hand it’s surprising but on the other hand it’s kind of like, “Well, that guy or gal who is one way in the grocery store is the same person at work, and so if that’s sort of a comfort thing or a fun thing for them, it seems quite natural that it goes both ways.

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  I would give you one more on that one too.  It’s when you’re asking outrageously all over at the grocery store, whatever you just said, just look for the decision-makers, look for those managers, those leaders, see if you can spot them, and ask them outrageously ’cause often they’re used to it.  They’re so used to people asking and you almost want to watch and see how they turn you down.  They’re not offended.

“Can I have an upgrade to my hotel room?”  “I’m sorry, we’re sold out.”  “Sure, is there anything else you could do?”  You can ask them, just see what happens.  You’re not going to offend them, you’re not going to embarrass them.  They get asked all the time.  Just watch them.  Just stand there, observe and watch them.  And once you start dealing with the decision-makers, you’ll be able to kind of start spotting them at work instead of those people that just waste your time.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  Very good, thank you.  So now could you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  I love that quote by Ben Sweetland, “Success is not a destination; it’s the journey.”  Love that quote.  That’s one of my companies, JourneyOn.com, it’s what gave me permission to leave the law and go and do something else.  Your career is part of your journey – just you’re responsible for it and just continue on your journey and sometimes you’re in fast track and sometimes you’re taking a little rest stop and resting, sometimes you exit altogether for a while.  But just remember that what you’ve got and what you’ve learned – those weren’t mistakes.  Those were learning opportunities, it’s part of your journey.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, thank you.  And how about a favorite study or experiment or a bit of research?

Linda Swindling
Right now I love mine, because I’ve got… I have several.  The Ask one is good, on AskOutrageously.com.  But I have some.  If you have some leaders that are looking for high performers, you might have a look at the DriveHighPerformance.com study – there’s one there.  And the Complainer study – that was one that really surprised me, so that’s at StopComplainers.com.  So I have three that I was surprised about some of the studies and the backgrounds.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, now if you may, what should we know about Driving High Performers real quick?

Linda Swindling
Yeah.  High Performers – most people would give promotions and they’re looking for when they’re hiring people who can solve problems, people who are self-starters, good communicators.  And the top high performance quality people are looking for is how well do you play in the sandbox with others – basically what kind of person do you show up at work?  Are you positive, do you pitch in and help others?

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, thank you.  And how about a favorite book?

Linda Swindling
Well, gosh.  Getting to Yes has always been a favorite book of mine.  I love Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury.  It’s a negotiations book and it’s kind of the seminal work on how you do win-win negotiations.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you.  And how about a favorite tool, whether it’s a product or service or app, something that helps you be awesome at your job?

Linda Swindling
Yeah, I use Constant Contact to stay in touch with people.  I send out any e-tip every month, and there’s a feature on it that most people don’t know about – it’s a text back feature.  So if you have people in sales or people that do presentations, they can text and then receive an email prompt.  And I can give it to you all and you’ll pretend like you’re my last participant if you want, just to see what it looks like.  Would that be helpful?

Pete Mockaitis
So I send a text to a number, and then I get a text back which tells me to email… What happens?

Linda Swindling
To email, yeah.  So let me give it to you.  So you would put in the “To” line, instead of “To Linda”, you’d put 42828, and then the body of the message I have a word “Ask”.  So you hit that “Send” button, it comes back to you and it says, “Thank you for sending us this.  If you want Linda’s bonus materials, please put in your email now.”  And then you put in your email, you send it, and then it gives you some tools that for me they’re kind of hard to find, they have these web sites.  And so I link them to tools and then it says, “If you want to continue getting e-tips every month, you can get e-tips.”  And a lot of people don’t know Constant Contact has that text feature in it, and that’s what we use to stay in touch with everybody.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s really handy, thank you.  And how about a favorite habit?
Linda Swindling
Favorite habit.  My favorite habit is having virtual coffee.  Have you ever done a virtual coffee break?  So probably like a lot of people I have friends in different parts of the world or even different parts of the city.  And so we’ll just set up just like we were going to have a coffee meet-up or whatever, and we’ll just sit and catch up and have a cup of coffee.  And we’ll set it up like an appointment and I’ll block everything off and we’ll do a virtual coffee meet-up, and just sit and relax and talk to each other.

Pete Mockaitis
So they are on Skype or FaceTime or phone and you’re holding a beverage?

Linda Swindling
Yes, I’m holding a beverage.  Sometimes an adult beverage, yes.  [laugh]

Pete Mockaitis
Beer time.  Virtual beer time.

Linda Swindling
Yeah.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very good.  And is there a particular nugget or a piece that you share that seems to really resonate and connect with people, in terms of they’re taking notes, they’re nodding and all that?

Linda Swindling
Sure.  The biggest one is, “If you’re not hearing ‘No’, you’re not asking for enough.  You should be going to the ‘No’.”  And then the other one is, “You’re responsible for your own career.”  Nobody is going to look out for you like you will, and that can feel very, at times, greedy.  You use that word, but just remember that you really are responsible for making sure you get the training, making sure you’ve got the opportunities and asking.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  And Linda, if folks want to learn more or get in touch with you, where would you put them?

Linda Swindling
Yeah, I would send them either to my websites, they have connections, so LindaSwindling.com or AskOutrageously.com.  Or if you’re more of a Twitter person, @LindaSwindling, is where I’d love to touch base with you guys.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.  And do you have a final challenge or call to action for those seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Linda Swindling
I do.  I’ve got the 24-hour challenge.  So the 24-hour Ask Outrageously challenge is this: You’ve heard this material, I double dog dare you in the next 24 hours to go ask outrageously at least three times.  Go ask for something more than you think that you deserve, and two of them have to be professional.

Go ask, and if you want to report your results, you can tweet me @LindaSwindling and do a #AskOutrageously or something.  But I want to see what you’ll get.  You’ll be shocked.  Most people report they have gotten a raise, or they got a client to close a deal, or someone returned a phone call, or they took a coworker to lunch.  But 24 hours.  24 hours from now ask outrageously at least three times and see what happens.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very good.  Well Linda, this was so much fun.  Thank you, and keep on asking!

Linda Swindling
Thanks Pete!  Ask outrageously!

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The Gold Nugget

The Gold Nugget

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