I was at a lunch meeting with some particularly successful and powerful women.
You know how you can just tell when someone at the table would like the salt passed to them? You know that whole non-verbal thing that happens? When they don’t want to interrupt the discussion so they just act uncomfortable until finally someone notices and hands it over?
Well, Lauren wanted the salt (name changed to protect Lauren’s identity). It was just out of her reach.
As the lively discussion carried on, she did the entire routine we all do when we need a condiment we cannot politely reach. Honestly, Lauren’s performance was pure perfection. If an award existed for a, “Non-Verbal Please Pass the Salt Routine,” Lauren would have totally won it. It was so silently compelling that I almost got up myself and took her some from my end of the table.
However, her Salt Gatekeeper didn’t seem to notice. She kept right on talking and laughing as if nothing were happening.
Salt Gatekeeper is a beautiful woman of about sixty, and she runs a highly successful company. Salt Gatekeeper is impressively on top of things, and what I would call a ‘mover and a shaker’ in town. She lives on a fortune of great decisions, and she is well-liked by everyone. It was actually almost weird that she didn’t catch Lauren’s plea for salt.
Finally, Lauren gave up and started eating without it.
However, in a matter of minutes, I watched Lauren’s countenance go from ‘So Happy to Be Here’ to ‘I Hate Everyone and Everything.’
Her entire mood changed. She withdrew from the conversation, she stared at her plate, and she slumped her shoulders. It was so noticeable (finally, she got noticed!) that Salt Gatekeeper asked her a pointed question. It was an obvious attempt to draw her into the conversation.
Lauren just shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
She didn’t participate in the rest of the meeting.
She pouted for the rest of the lunch.
As we left the fabulous restaurant, Salt Gatekeeper reached for Lauren’s arm. She looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Honey, if you don’t learn to ask for what you want, you’re never going to get it.”
With that, she turned on her heel, got in her big, shiny Mercedes and drove away.
What’s the best way to get what you want?
Ask for it.
Now, pass the salt and point me to my awesome new car.
To Your Adventure,