Oliver Burkeman

Ask, Don't Guess
May 11, 2010

Oliver Burkeman picks up a great idea first floated by blog commentator Andrea Donderiand and runs with it: We are raised, the theory runs, in one of two cultures. In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise– fully realising the answer may be no. In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid "putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer.