Ask For What You Want Cheat Sheet

How do you start the conversation you have been avoiding?

Assertiveness Cheat SheetDo not let the simplicity of this outline below fool you. This program has changed thousands of lives.

If people are not giving us what we need, it is our responsibility to have a direct and honest conversation with them. They cannot give us what we need if we avoid giving them the data they need to be in authentic relationship with us.

This holds true around the passive-aggressive team member or the person who manages to convince you to put tasks on your agenda that don’t belong to you. And if you decide to practice these strategies with loved ones at home, your relationships will develop more intimacy and respect than you ever imagined.

Having strategic and courageous conversations with others we have been avoiding clears the air and helps create a new direction for our exchanges and interactions.

So go ahead and read it over. And below is a downloadable PDF.

This is  your starting point towards more mutually beneficial and collaborative relationships.



How To Ask For What You Want – 4 Simple Steps to Speak to Someone about Their Behavior

Remember the acronym “R. I. S. E.”

This stands for Review, Identify, Specify and Explore.


Review their behavior.

Point it out to them by using action verbs. Start the sentence with “When you…” and describe the behavior in question.  “When you act like a jerk” is incorrect as it is an attack on their character. This should be about the verb “To Do” not the verb “To Be”.

Example: “When you call me names or mock me…”

Identify the impact of their behavior.

If this is a professional situation, tell the person how it impacts you or the team’s ability to perform.

Example: “When you call me names, it creates an unhealthy work environment and affects my/the team’s productivity”

If the relationship is of importance, identify your emotions. State “I feel…” and limit this to 1 or 2 emotions. This is not the time to bring out a long litany of offenses from the past. Stick to this occurrence. Again, be sure not to attack the person such as in “I feel you are a jerk”.

Examples: “When you call me names, I feel disrespected” or “I feel personally attacked”.

Specify the desired behavior.

People can only improve their behavior when they know what is expected. Begin this part of the conversation with “I want” or “I need”. Be specific as to what you are expecting for future behavior. Be time specific as to by when.

If you rarely get what you want, you are probably not doing this step.

Examples: “Starting today, I want to be politely addressed without name calling or labelling.”
“To give you what you want/need, I need to work in a respectful environment and not be on edge about personal attacks.”

Explore the consequences.

There are two types of consequences: a positive or a negative consequence.

Before giving a consequence, you must be certain of 2 things:  

  • That you have the Power to follow through on the consequences.
  • That you Will follow through with the consequences.

Develop a reputation of keeping your word; especially when stating consequences.

Positive consequences are the pleasure promises or the benefits.

Examples: “If you speak to me with respect, our work relationship will improve.” Or “…my focus will be on my work instead of feeling I need to defend myself.
“If you stop personally attacking me with names, I will be less stressed and be able to give you what you need”.

Negative consequences are the pain promises.

Example: “If you continue to shout names at me, I will report you”.  Or if you’re they are your subordinate, it may be time to say something like: “This is your last verbal warning. Do you have any questions?”

It is never the severity of the consequence that captures a person’s attention but rather the certainty. Follow through!


Extra tips to remember:

  • Stay CALM, don’t hold your breath (which we do under stress) and channel your inner confidence.
  • This is NOT ABOUT GETTING EVEN; but about pointing out their undesirable behaviors so they can change.
  • Be BRIEF; don’t explain or go into details. The whole interaction should take a minute.
  • Be CURRENT; don’t bring up old issues. Focus on one issue at a time. Don’t let them sidetrack you either.
  • Be PROUD for focusing on clarity and respect. Remember you will improve with practice.


Do you want to download this information? Just click HERE or on the image of the PDF below. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!

To your empowered self!

How To Ask For What You Want – Starting The Conversation