I recently planned a last minute trip to Florida for an event I wanted to go to. Eight days from arriving, I was booking airfare and figuring out my hotel options (the event hotel was booked). Booking the airfare was really easy and I had the opportunity to room with someone who already had a room at the event hotel. Great! Everything was coming together! Well, almost.
My roommate was a friend of a friend and we had some hiccups connecting. So, what did I do? In the past I wouldn’t have wanted to bother her, so I would have reached out twice and then just waited and worried and complained. Instead, I reached out twice and kept my friend in the loop. She made a phone call on the second day of not hearing anything back and everything was resolved in a couple hours! I had a roommate!
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Maybe not around traveling or roommates, but you need information or help from someone else and it doesn’t come? Do you think “well, it’s their responsibility to get back to me, why aren’t they!” or do you think “hmm, I wonder why I haven’t received this? I should find out what’s going on.”
In the past, I’ve spent a lot of time with the first thought. Here are some results of that:
- You look at the same item on your to-do list over and over again without making any progress and get frustrated and a little angry
- You spend a lot of time worrying about when you’ll get that information or help (and if you’ll be bothering them if you ask about it)
- Overall, you get less done because you’ve spent so much time thinking and worrying about this one thing
So, what are the results of the second thought? Well, you probably contact the person and ask for the information or help and that results in this:
- You know when to expect the information/help or if you need to find it elsewhere
- You don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the situation
- Overall, you get more done because you know the status of that item
If your first thought generally is “well, it’s their responsibility,” that’s OK! Next time you find yourself with that thought take a deep breath, relax and get curious! Go ahead and call or email – they might not realize that this is a potentially frustrating situation for you (or you might find they’ve unexpectedly been out of town)!
One more thing, sometimes when we’re frustrated or feeling like we’ve bitten off a bit more than we can chew, no one else around us realizes that we feel that way. Even if it appears completely obvious to us, other people might not notice it. In those situations, take a step back and ask yourself “What or who can help me with this?” or “Who will have some ideas to help me with this that I might not have?”
Tell me, how do you know when it’s time to ask for what you need instead of waiting for someone else to notice?