Are you frustrated too when others make you do things you don’t feel like doing? Your boss pushes through option B whereas you were so convinced option A was the right one…; You have to do some administrative tasks, and you just hate those…; Your family asks your help, right now, and now is really not the right moment… Dealing with unwelcome requests sure is a difficult thing…

If you are like most people, you are annoyed. You do what is requested, but you do so with grudge or only passively. Or perhaps you don’t even act on the demand – instead, you keep procrastinating… Many people are not having fun in these cases… and they’re definitely not acting at full their potential…

Here is something we have experienced: the more we see ‘mandatory’ activities as a CHOICE, the more fulfilling they are, and the better the outcome will be. Think about it yourself. Doesn’t it feel better when you choose to spend time with your family, rather than having to do so? Isn’t there more positive energy when you choose to do your admin, rather than being obliged to do so? Aren’t more powerful ideas popping up when you choose to go for option B rather than feeling trapped because you can’t do option A?


Dealing with unwelcome requests


You might say – but not everything IS a choice. Well – we would like to challenge you on that. There’s always some choice
Here’s how we suggest going about it: (1) realize there is a choice and/or (2) craft the choice.

Realize there IS a choice  

Alternatives exist. Virtually always. If you don’t like the option B your boss pushes through, you can always walk away from the project. If your family asks your help, you can always say no. If the admin deadline is approaching, you can always say ‘I couldn’t care less…’. Yes, you would have to bear the consequences of such decision – but that’s exactly the point. If you decide to do something it’s because, in a way, you consider it better for you to go for it than not to go for it. So there IS some choice…  

Craft the choice  

Even if you consider there was no choice at all in WHAT to do, you can always choose HOW to do it. You can turn any situation into a positive experience. That is your choice. Here are two questions we like to ask ourselves when we have to do something ‘against our will’:

  1. How can I turn this into an opportunity? Something that will help me/us/the company grow?
  2. How can I make this fulfilling? Something that feels rewarding for me/ us/the company?
By answering these questions, you can turn your response to the ‘obligation’ into a true choice. And remember – doesn’t it feel better when we do things out of choice rather than out of compliance?

So, go for it – turn your next ‘frustrating request’ into a true choice – and notice the impact on yourself, and on your relationship with the ‘requesters’!


Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want more information on how we can help you create positive alignment with your stakeholders.