I always enjoy having lunch with my friend, Andrea, because she’s been a “big boss” at a big company, and she always has lots of valuable insight about ways to resolve conflict at work (in fact, I wish she had been MY boss when I used to work full-time!).

Today’s conversation took a turn toward women in the workplace. Like many women who have children, I always felt like a “choice” had to be made: Either I continue to work full-time or quit. To be fair, when you work in T.V. News, that’s usually the choice.

But, she had an interesting insight. As a boss, she always wondered why more women didn’t come to her BEFORE resigning and try to work-out a new schedule. In fact, she says she often had to approach the soon-to-be-resigning women and convince them to stay. Had they simply asked for part-time work, for example, she would have easily obliged.

I told her many of us women have been conditioned to believe we’ll start a conflict if we ask for what we want. Or, we will be turned down. Or both.

But, she reassured me that a good boss will try to compromise, especially if the employee already has a workable solution in mind.

The whole conversation reminded me of the many times I haven’t asked for what I want because I didn’t want to create a conflict. Better to just bow-out gracefully, I tell myself.

But, what am I missing-out on by not asking in the first place? Turns out–a lot. There were times I probably COULD have taken an unpaid year-off of work to attend to a new baby. But, I didn’t. There were times I could might have landed that pay raise, had I just asked. But, I didn’t.

So, ask yourself–what are you NOT asking for? And, what has that cost you in work AND life?


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