In email, open with the ask

In the ten-year daily search to notice and share something interesting here on my blog, I uncovered two tips that have saved me hours of email toiling to find the right tone and message.

Lesson #12 of my final 31 posts: When asking for something over email, open with the ask.

I first found and blogged about this gem of advice from Simon Sinek in 2015. When asking for help, a favor, or anything else over email where you aren’t sure the person will agree, it’s tempting to try to butter them up for a paragraph or two before you hit them with the ask. That’s the wrong order. Ask right away. Then get to the pleasantries.

The former feels manipulative and selfish. The latter feels more direct and generous.