Why You Must Ask

Many people are self starters. They’re ready to pick up a task and get it done. You love them.

Then there are those that never start. They never seem to do anything.

There’s a simple action that needs to happen.

Question Mark Graffiti

Image by Balil Kamoon

You must ASK them to do a task.

Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.
— Jim Rohn

It’s not that they don’t want to be productive or to start a product. Many times it’s they don’t know the task is important. So they let it linger.

Rosario Dawson and Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino learned this lesson. Their mission is to get Latinos excited to vote.

Dawson mentioned in a recent Fast Company articleWhenever we do voter registration, we ask, ‘Why haven’t you voted before?’ The response is often, ‘No one’s asked us.’ It’s not about telling people what to do–it’s about sharing what they can do.”

They made it a point to send text messages encouraging and asking young Latinos to vote on election day. When they took action and asked them to vote on election day, they saw an 8% increase in the Latino vote.

Now that’s impressive! By simply asking, they helped increase the participation of a group of voters that normally didn’t vote.

What can you learn from this?

  • People often overlook a need: The Latinos Dawson and Kumar interviewed never voted because they were never asked. Since no one asked, they didn’t see it as a need or desirable action.
  • Take action yourself: We will wonder why something isn’t getting done. We’ll sit around and discuss it with those that aren’t responsible for completing it. Yet we’ll neglect going to the source. Going to the source can reveal the underlying reason why the task is never done or left incomplete.
  • Ask and you shall receive: By sending out text messages asking the demographic to vote, they saw a huge increase in votes. The simple adage “Ask and you will receive” proves to be true once again. Take the time to ask and you may be surprised with the results.

To get the results you desire, you must be willing to go to the source and ask two questions.

  1. Why are you not doing this?
  2. Will you do this?

Taking the time to ask will reap great rewards.

Your team will start tasks. They will finish tasks. They will start to take initiative.

If you have the modest success that Dawson and Kumar had, you’ll see at least an 8% increase in productivity and task completion. What would you do if you were able to experience an 8% increase in productivity from your team?

Effective management always means asking the right question.
— Robert Heller

Question: What questions are you asking? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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