8 ways to get what you want

Instead of being a b*tch about things, we think those who play nice have the right formula.


1. Always be polite first
Making the first move in acknowledging wait staff or the cashier with a simple “hello” immediately sets you apart from the average customer who just waves their hands around for service. This puts you and the service staff on equal footing, instead of queen customer and slave.

2. Mind your P’s and Q’s
People don’t realise that simply bothering to say “please” and “thank you” transforms a demand into a request — nobody wants to be barked at, and everybody could use a little appreciation, even if what you’re asking of them is a basic requirement of their job.

3. Know your janitor
If others in your workplace can see that you bother to greet the “little people”, instead of playing politics and showing off that you’re chummy with the big bosses as your means of influence, you’re showing respect for everyone regardless of rank. In turn, they will give you a level of respect that would allow you to work more cohesively for better teamwork.

4. Remember, it’s always personal…
To the other person. Thinking in this way ensures you’re always aware of saying things with tact, instead of shooting your mouth off and suffering foot-in-mouth syndrome. Always thinking before you speak and trying to look at things from the other person’s standpoint will help you act in a manner that is respectful to the people around you.

5. Accept that you don’t know everything
In the book Taming Your Alpha Bitch, writers Christy Whitman and Rebecca Grado write about learning from the success of others instead of comparing yourself to those who are more successful. Jealous individuals are the ones constantly looking over their shoulders to see who is about to outdo them or who is trying to stab them in the back, and any smell of competition makes them react in unpleasant ways. Be humble, admit that you’re lacking in certain skills, and ask your colleague for advice on how she secured that promotion or won that account.

6. Make Eye Contact

We’re so easily distracted with what’s happening around us and our mobile devices that it’s common for people to keep talking to each other without much eye contact. While it does seem like the norm, it also appears like you’re too busy for the other person. How do you get your point across or make a connection with somebody if you’re not even going to give them the time of day? Even new-borns make their connections through eye contact.

7. Speak Less, Speak Slowly
You can be authoritative without sounding like a drill sergeant. Miami-based motivational speaker, Michelle Villalobos says you should speak, “lower, slower, louder” — an authoritative tone without sounding demanding. She also suggests ditching “uhms” and “ahs” while speaking and replacing them with pauses instead so you sound less, uhm, flaky.

8. Stop being Passive-Aggressive
Learn to speak your mind at the right time instead of holding everything in and then letting out your frustrations in sarcastic ways at moments when the recipient of your sarcasm doesn’t understand what the real problem is. The issue at hand may not even warrant such anger in the first place, and you may look like some who flies off the handle at very minor issues. When you do that, you just come across angsty, moody and temperamental, because no one can isolate the cause of your anger, and others would want to give you a wide-berth to avoid your random outbursts. 

The story '8 Ways to Get What You Want' first appeared in ELLE Singapore

Report a problem