When you engage with others, particularly when raising an issue, be clear about the role you want them to play. Knowing what you want, and asking for it, enables others to do a better of job of helping you in just the way you want.

For example, you could ask the person with whom you’re interacting to:

  • Just let you talk and vent. No fixing or problem solving.
  • Listen actively as you to talk out loud, and reflect back to you the essence of your message, without interpretation or judgment.
  • Listen actively and give you feedback, i.e. share their opinion.
  • Brainstorm with you, helping you generate ideas.
  • Help you develop viable solutions and a plan of action.

This is a short list of ways you can help others help you in exactly the way you want. Get clear about the role you want the person to play and make your request. Doing so increases the probability of feeling satisfied with the quality of support you receive.

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