Negotiate Your Career Growth

Your Request Helps Them Too: Noisy Neighbors, Networking, Asking for Help, and Leaving a Job

May 12, 2023 Jamie Lee Episode 30
Negotiate Your Career Growth
Your Request Helps Them Too: Noisy Neighbors, Networking, Asking for Help, and Leaving a Job
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I share four examples of how making specific and actionable request for what your want helps the other side, too.

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Jamie Lee (00:01):
Welcome to negotiate your Career growth. I'm Jamie Lee, and I teach you how to blend the best of negotiation strategies with feminist coaching so you get promoted and better paid without burning bridges or burning out in the process. Let's get started. Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying life here in New York City. It is May, the flowers, the trees, everything is blooming and blossoming and green and things are finally warm, and the sun stays out much longer in the day. I just, I just love it. And if you're in the southern hemisphere like Australia or New Zealand, I hope you're enjoying fall. And I'm so grateful that in-person events are coming back. Next week, I'm doing a bit of, uh, like a brief speaking tour. I'm going to be giving a negotiation workshop for, uh, for the women and the Asian Heritage Network at Citibank.

And after that, I'm going to Unilever the consumer products company to give a brief coaching session on leadership skills for their Asian business network. And after that, I'm going to Smith College and giving a workshop with Emily Jean Brown on Confident Networking at the 2023 reunion for alums. And in June, you can come to an event that I'm speaking at. It is going to be a breakfast networking event with wow, I think it's pronounced. Wow. It could be pronounced how too, because it's spelled W H O w W H O W, standing for Women Helping Other Women. It's a nonprofit base here in New York City that is all about women helping other women, professional women in accounting, finance, legal, um, as well as other industries get together. And they do networking events. They do really fun stuff like breakfast networking, dinner networking, golfing, networking. And I'm going to be the presenter.

I'm going to give a brief talk and do a short group coaching session. If you like to join. The event is going to be held on the morning of Tuesday, June 6th. You'll find the event Bright link to register in the show notes. I'd love to meet you. Please, if you do come, come say hi today. I wanna give you four stories of how self-advocacy you asking for what you want in a very specific and actionable way helps them too. Your self-advocacy is an act of service. I covered this in episode two of this podcast, but there's always so many examples. I, I feel like I'm always just seeing them everywhere all the time. And I wanna share, uh, four examples that I encountered just this week. I wanna give you an from my own life, my personal home life. I wanna give you an example from my friend's career of my friend who is trying to leave a job.

I'm gonna give you an example from networking. I just talked about networking, and even networking. When you ask for what you want, it helps the other side. It makes networking so much more valuable and enjoyable. And I wanna give you a story from one of my clients. So the first story of how self-advocacy is an act of service. This week, my life partner and I were rudely awakened at about 3:30 AM by our next door neighbors laughing really out loud, <laugh> in the bedroom or, or in their room that is adjacent to our bedroom. We're sleeping. And then in the middle of the night, we're awakened by loud laughter. It's, it's coming through the walls. And we're like, whoa, <laugh>. So what did we do? We called the building management. We called the doorman. We call, you know, the people, and we're like, could you please do something about this?

And the next morning, my life partner was all about getting things done. He's really good that way. He says, I'm gonna write an email. This has to go directly to the, the manager, not just the doorman, but the manager. And so he's drafting this email and he asked for my assistants because as a coach, I help people make specific and actionable request every day. So my life partner drafted an email, and in this email he listed the six other times that our next door neighbor woke us up in the middle of the night with loud noises, partying, laughing, et cetera, like, great, that's, that's good. Give very detailed and specific example. Good. And then he sort of froze up. He was like, I don't know what else to do here. So I turned to him and I said, okay, what about you making a specific request?

What would you like to request? And so I suggested we can ask the building management to reply and confirm that they received this complaint and they logged it, they documented it. We could also ask them to do something. Are you going to have a conversation? What are you going to do with this information? And so my life partner says, okay, that's a great idea. And so we sent off the email just to recap with that detailed log of other instances and a specific request, please reply to confirm that you have documented this and that you are gonna do something about it. Within hours of us sending that email, got a reply directly from the building management company's manager saying, thank you for bringing this to our attention. This information has been logged. And yes, we are going to have a conversation with your next door neighbor.

So I think we've all been served, and here's how, of course, me and my life partner, we have been served because we got to take action. We have the satisfaction of knowing that we did something to help us sleep better. I mean, we paid great rent, we paid great rent to live here. We wanna be able to have good night's sleep consistently. It's our home. We believe we deserve that, and we did something for the sake of maintaining that. So we feel good. Even if we don't feel great about the fact that we got woken up at 3:00 AM the other night, we do feel satisfaction that we spoke up for what we deserve. Secondly, I think the building management company was served by that email because not only did they get a comprehensive log of information data, but they also get to know that they did meet our request.

They did answer our specific request for a reply, a confirmation. You know, just letting us know that yes, they got a handle on it, even if it's very incremental, even if it's something small, it ha the whole situation, whole situation has yet to be resolved. Those incremental movement, the the things that let you know, we are moving in the right direction, they matter, they help us continue to make progress. And I wanna say, I think this also has the chance, the opportunity to serve our next door neighbors. Maybe who knows, maybe they have no idea that they're doing this, that they're waking us up in the middle of the night. And if I was doing something and I didn't know about the unintended negative impact it was having on other people, I would wanna know so that I can correct it. Now, there's no guarantee they'll stop partying at 3:00 AM <laugh>.

I really would like them to stop partying at 3:00 AM But even still, I would like them to be presented with the opportunity to know that they have the chance they, that they can make a different choice. So let me give you another story from my client, one of my clients that demonstrates that self-advocacy really is an act of service even when, especially when you ask for help. My client is a successful and competent sales director. She has been promoted from within. She started at entry level, been promoted several times, sales director, but lately she says she's just been feeling kind of overwhelmed, stuck, stressed. And so I got curious with her and I asked her, have you asked for help? Like, have you explored different ways to resolve this so that you're not so overwhelmed by all of the work that you're doing? And she said, no.

She said she feels like she has to loan wolf it, that she has to take it on and manage this big scope of responsibility because if you don't handle it all yourself, then you become at risk of being cast aside as if you know this is how she has to survive. She said her workplace is male dominated and she doesn't want to seem weak. She doesn't want to seem like she can't help herself, and therefore she has to do it all herself. And so then I got even more curious and I asked her, well, talk to me about the most recent time, the specific time that you felt really stressed out in your job. And she says, it was the conversation she had with her supervisor, her manager, and her manager was saying things like, you know, I just don't feel like you respect me as a manager.

I feel like you know, you don't appreciate everything that I can do for you. And my client said, well, I was really sad and shocked and disappointed to hear that because I wanna be collaborative. My intention is to be a collaborative leader. And so in coaching, I offered her this perspective. Let's notice that the manager, your supervisor who's disappointed, thinking that my client doesn't respect the manager, that manager cares a lot about my client's opinion of the manager of him. And the manager wants to be able to help her. The manager is disappointed that my client isn't asking for the manager's help. And so I offered my client, what if he thought about asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength, a sign of collaboration, a sign of trust in that if you are willing to lean into that trust, that you can trust this manager and you can trust yourself, not only would the manager feel better knowing that, hey, by direct report, trust me, they're willing to share their frustration and, and let me know how I can be of help.

Wouldn't that lead to more collaboration? My client wants to be a collaborative lead leader, right? But it starts with being willing to receive help. And when my client is more willing to receive help from her direct supervisor who cares what their gender is, then my client gets to have more of her mental and emotional as well as time bandwidth open up. Moreover, bandwidth open up opens up so that she can do more of what she wants, which is to feel better, which is to have a greater sense of ease, a greater sense of joy, a greater sense of connection, not just at work, but in her personal life. And so I asked her, what do you imagine would be the impact of that if you did have greater ease, you know, joy, more relaxed, more connected at work and in your personal life, what would be the impact of that on your leadership?

And she said, oh, I would be more genuine when I talk to my direct reports. I would be more authentic. And when I am more genuine and when I am more authentic, I would become more promotable. So let's think it all the way through. When you're willing to receive help, when you're willing to make actionable requests for help, you help other people feel better, do better at their jobs, and you get to do more of what you want. And when you get to do more of what you want, you get to become a better leader and more promotable. So again, self-advocacy is an act of service. What adds value to your life and your career can add value to other people's careers as well. This is why in networking, right? When you think about this value exchange in networking, when you think about, you know, asking someone for an introduction that could help that person, the ask e if you are asking for the intro, intro, introduction, it could help the ask E two.

This has happened to me just this week. A former client, somebody who had hired me to deliver a virtual workshop for, uh, Europe based technology company, they wrote me and they introduced me to, uh, another person who is based in Brazil. And this person in Brazil wanted to know if I knew any Spanish speaking workshop leaders, Spanish speaker, who can give a presentation, um, about leadership, self-confidence, negotiation, positioning, you know, personal branding. And I was like, at first I'm like, Hmm, I don't know. And then I realized, oh wait, I am connected <laugh>. I do know people who can do something like that. And then I got to make this email introduction. So I was the Ask e I was, I was the person to whom the request was made. And when I got to meet that request and connect my Spanish speaking mentor with this contact in Brazil, I had this really nice boost of like, Ooh, look at me.

I'm connected with power players, I'm connected with fabulous leaders, women leaders, coaches who can speak multiple languages, and we can do really cool things. And it made me feel really good about myself. Whenever I get to give that sort of value, um, offer introductions, et cetera. I always operate from the belief that the value I give always, always comes back in ways that I can't, can't even imagine in ways I can't anticipate. It always boomerangs right back with more mo momentum, with even bigger and better ways than, than I, I don't even know. I, it's not something I can calculate. It's not something I can expect. It just comes, value always comes back around.

And I wanna give you one more story before I wrap up. We talked about this person who is based in Brazil asking me to, um, make an introduction. And I have a dear friend of mine who is very unhappy in their job. They were hired to do one thing, but because of circumstances out of their control, because of restructuring, because of layoffs, the people who hired my friend have been either let go or, or they have left the company. And the experience is just not what my friend signed up for. So I'm gonna give you this analogy. It's like my friend thought by joining this company, they're gonna be going to Brazil, <laugh>, they're gonna be going to a tropical place, uh, you know, sun filled, warm, happy place, <laugh>. And again, due to circumstances beyond my friend's control, now my friend finds out the company is sending my friend to the Arctic Circle. They're asking my friend to do something that they don't have any interest in doing. And so my friend wants to leave, of course, naturally.

And my friend really struggled with making this request. My friend struggled with like the thoughts of like, oh no, I should stay, you know, the security, the paycheck, blah, blah, blah. But I really champion for my friend to think about what is the value of being honest with yourself? What is the value of you just being in con? Um, what is the value of you honoring what you really want as opposed to what you've been taught to want? I know, I know this is kind of a strange story because every day I'm coaching professional women to get promoted and better paid. And here I am, like advocating for my friend to think about no, do your own thing <laugh>. And sometimes doing your own thing is how you promote yourself, right? You promote yourself to the c e o of your career. I am digressing in, in the long run, what my friend have decided to do is ask for a different arrangement.

My friend went to, uh, the company and asked, what if I work for you part-time? What if I work for you part-time? And just did the segments of the work that I actually signed up for that I actually enjoy. And the response that my friend got was, thank you. This was long time coming. Not surprised at all that you're making this request. We appreciate you because we don't want you to do something that you don't wanna do. It serves no one. Whereas when you make a request, an actionable specific request for what you truly want, what truly serves you, it helps other people and people will thank you, right? Our building management manager, he thanked us. He's like, thank you for filing this complaint with a specific request. And even my client who thought that she had to lone Wolfe it when she realized, oh no, asking for help, it not only serves me, but it helps my manager, it helps us have a collaborative relationship.

Everyone wins. And even in networking, when you make a specific and actionable request, it helps the person feel good when they're doing you a favor. That was me this week. I felt good doing somebody a favor. I didn't get paid, but I'm like, yeah, value is gonna come back to me. Self-advocacy, asking for help, giving help, it is all an act of service. Receiving help is also an act of service. So I hope you found this helpful. I hope this week you think about how I make my request specific actionable, and how can I consider the fact that when I ask for help, it helps other people. It helps the person who's doing the helping. Yeah. And if you want help from somebody who is an expert in this, somebody who can help you feel better and do better with making the request so that you have more of what you want in your career, in your life, I can help you. You're invited to book your free consultation by clicking on the link that is in the show notes. I'll talk to you soon.

Jamie Lee (21:22):
And if you want expert guidance in your corner to help

Jamie Lee (21:26):
You achieve

Jamie Lee (21:26):
Greater self-confidence and greater career satisfaction as you grow your skills in negotiating, leading, and influencing as a woman professional, I invite you to book your free one-on-one sales call with me to find out how executive coaching can help you do exactly that. The link is in the show notes. Talk soon.