The Four Styles Of Asking And Giving

Wayne Baker, in his book All You Have To Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success, talks about the 4 styles of asking. These are the standard ways most people are viewed when making a request.

Knowing which kind of asker you are will help you better suit your ask to the situation at hand. You will learn that your style of asking may be inappropriate or hurtful.

Man holding his hand out with water falling into it

Photo by Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

The good news is that you can recognize the downfall of your giving style and correct it. Let’s take a look at the four styles of asking.

The Four Styles Of Asking And Giving

The overly generous giver:

Have you ever met someone who just loves to give? These people would give you the shirt off the back even if it was the last piece of clothing they owned. They can’t help themselves when it comes to giving.

They are so eager to give, they forget about themselves. This lack of self-care can lead to burn-out or regret. They get frustrated because their needs are not being met. 

If you’re an overly generous giver, make sure you’re asking for some of your needs to be met. If you’re not careful, you will begin to regret your giving. 

The selfish taker:

Me! Me! Me!

Have you ever met someone who is so focused on what they can get that they don’t help those around them get what they want? These are the selfish takers.

They look out for their own self-interest. They look for ways to get ahead while leaving others in the dust.

If you’re finding yourself to be a selfish taker, look for ways to correct these actions. Research shows that the selfish taker can overcome their desire to take, take, take by doing things publicly. When their actions are more public, the selfish taker takes on a more giving role.

Find ways to temper the selfishness if you’re a selfish taker.

The lone wolves:

The lone wolves of asking and giving are a danger to themselves. They’ve isolated themselves and disconnected from a valuable network.

Lone wolves believe they can do everything on their own. They don’t need help. Asking for help is a sign of weakness, so a lone wolf thinks.

If you’re a lone wolf, you need to be extremely cautious. You’ve set yourself up for failure. You don’t have a network to fall back on.

If there is one asking and giving style that could be considered bad, this would be the one.

The giver-requester:

The last ask-give style is the giver-requester. This style is not afraid to ask. They’re also not afraid to give.

The person who is a giver-requester is probably the most popular of the types. Their coworkers love them because they’re willing to pitch in. They are also loved because they aren’t afraid to ask for help when needed.

door knocker that says Ask More

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Look for ways to give. Look for things to ask for. When you do both, you win.

What Asking And Giving Style Are You?

Look at the four asking and giving types above. Do you see one that screams “This is me! I’m this kind of asker and giver!” You probably do.

Whichever asking and giving style you fall into, it’s okay.

You may not like the style you see in yourself. That’s okay too. Why? Because you can change your style.

Begin working toward the asking and giving style you would like to be more of. Work on becoming that type of asker and giver.

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