3 Ways to Make a Request That Doesn’t Feel Coercive

Research shows that people feel more pressured to agree to requests than we realize, frequently agreeing to do things they would rather not do, such as taking on burdensome, low-promotability work tasks. As a manager, what can you do to ensure that your employees aren’t taking things on because they feel like they have to, but because they actually want to? In this article, the authors share three research-backed suggestions for how to elicit a more voluntary “yes” when making a request: 1) Give people time to respond. 2) Ask them to respond over email. 3) Share an example of how to say “no.”

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