Get what you want at work with English
There always comes a time when we want something at work. Whether it’s a chance for more responsibility or a request for annual leave, the tone of voice we use will make or break our chances for actually getting it. Read on to find out how to – and how not to – make requests in English.
Always avoid the imperative when making requests. Saying, “Give me some time off” will never please your boss. Instead, start your request politely, for example, “I’d like to request some annual leave” or “I’d appreciate it if you could give me your feedback.”
Eliminate “I need”
Always talking about what you”need” can make you sound bossy and offensive, so try asking instead. Phrases like “Could you please…?” and “Would you be able to…?” are perfectly polite ways to make your request known.
If your boss is cool, you might be tempted to let something like, “I’m going to leave a bit early today,” slip out. It’s best not to take control, though, and assume the top dog doesn’t have a problem with it. “Would it be OK if I slipped out a bit early today?” or “Would you be opposed to my taking off around 4:30?” are great ways to ask permission.
Steer clear of accusations
If your manager seems to have forgotten about your request, don’t accuse him or her of not doing the work by saying, “Where are those figures I asked for?” For a simple yet effective reminder, just say, for example, “I was wondering if you’ve had the chance to calculate those figures.” It’s a non-threatening way to remind your boss of something he or she promised to do.
Try a second time
If your manager has denied a request, it can be easy to just give up. Instead, if you really feel your request is valid, clearly organize your argument and say, “Please reconsider my request.”