Do you feel like helping me to sort out this customer complaint? Are you busy this weekend? Will you be passing a post office today?
Clear communication will help you get what you want from others. Vague communication, not so much. Some people are very vague when asking for anything. Others are direct to the point of bluntness. “I need you to sort out this customer complaint today”. Their strength becomes a weakness because of overuse. Communication is a bit like golf. Choose the club according to the shot required and your ability to execute this shot. Same with communication, choose whether to be direct or indirect. You can start indirect ‘what time are you planning to go home today?’ You can then move to ‘ I need you do do something important for me’. No use complaining if you are indirect and vague and the other person doesn’t take the hint. “I thought you would have known what I meant’.If you are usually indirect and call it politeness, stop calling it politeness and practise being more direct. ‘What I need is…I want you to….This must be done before lunch’. Avoid disguising your requests as questions ‘Can you do this before lunch?’ Be decisive.
If you are very direct, practise being more indirect occasionally.You may have overdone the directness and build resistance. If they are used to you being blunt they will be surprised if you lead with ‘Can I ask a favour?’.
So stretch your range of behaviours. Practise being more direct and more indirect. Choose wisely depending on the person and the situation. If unsure, start indirect and ramp up if necessary. Be clear about what you want before choosing either.