No one can read your mind

May 9, 2024 | Quick Takes

As women, we’re conditioned to keep others happy while silently struggling. 😔

We’re caregivers, often the last to ask for anything. Or perfectionists, burdened to figure it out on our own. Or patient strivers, hoping to be seen, valued, and recognized.

This doesn’t serve us! ❌

Let’s develop a new muscle to change the game. It’s about needs and wants. Think of “needs” as something that feeds your well-being and “wants” as something that fuels your aspirations. Both are essential and vary by person and context. Learn to acknowledge what YOU need and want, ask for it – and get it! ✨

When you master this crucial skill, you will advance your career and love your life even more.

Begin by checking in with yourself. What do you need or want? It could be:

– Some support on a challenging project
– To have your voice heard
– A stretch assignment
– To work from home
– A raise
– Time off after a long project
– A path to promotion
– Constructive feedback
– Access to professional development
– A lighter schedule as a new parent
– Fewer chores around the house

PRO TIP: Avoid these pitfalls. They never lead to getting what you want. Ever. 🚫

Ultimatums: If I don’t get this, I will leave.

Assumptions: You should know what my needs are. I shouldn’t have to tell you!

Rudeness. You don’t appreciate me.

Fear. I can’t handle the rejection.

Permanence. Nothing ever changes here.

Use this 5-step framework to get your needs and wants met:

1. Articulate your goal. 🎯  Explain what you hope to accomplish and the benefits.


I’m here to talk about my desire to__________so that  ____________.”

It could be to advance your career to help the company grow or feel like an equal partner at home to have more family joy. This is up to you.

2. Share an observation. 💬 Help your manager or partner see something you’ve noticed that impacts both of you. Doing this provides context for the other person and can reduce friction.


I’ve noticed that ____________.”

You may have noticed several projects have fallen behind, you have been under-utilized, and you have additional capacity. You might share with a partner that the laundry is piled high because you’ve been too tired to tackle it.

3. Make a request. 🙏 Concisely declare what you need or want (not what you don’t need or want).


I would like to request _________.”

This might be a request to your manager for more responsibility and a path to promotion. Or, it may be a request to your partner to take over the laundry. Resist the urge to overtalk. Short and sweet does the trick.

4. Ask for support. 🤝 Don’t assume you have their support without asking for it directly.


“Do I have your support for­­_________?”

This could include asking directly for your manager’s support for expanded responsibilities or your partner’s support to share household responsibilities, specifically laundry. Be open and stay focused on a solution that meets your stated goal. You may need to modify the request so it works for both parties.

5. Align on the next steps. ⏰ Don’t let the conversation end with “I’ll look into it” or “I’ll consider it.” Those responses lack commitment. Instead, push for a firm decision and timing.


Can we agree to get back together in 48 hours to work through the next steps?”

Set up the meeting and prepare your action items in writing. Send a follow-up email to your manager summarizing everything discussed. With a partner, consider a three-month experiment to test shifted responsibilities.

Having needs and wants and making requests is not a sign of weakness. It’s fundamental to being human,  advancing your career, and loving your life. You deserve that and more.  Dive deeper into this topic with Marshall B. Rosenberg’s bestselling Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships. (I have no affiliations. The link is provided as a courtesy.)

Go ahead. Make that request you’ve been stewing about.

Congratulations to Lauren Janik for winning last month’s book giveaway of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“! Package is on the way!

This month, we’re giving away a copy of the book “Atomic Habits.” In this book, James Clear unlocks how our brain works and how we can take small actions to stay on track, increase our motivation, and kick bad habits to the curb.

To enter:

      1. Subscribe to our newsletter (done!) ✅
      2. Follow us on LinkedIn

For extra entries: Tag friends in our LinkedIn giveaway post!


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