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Get What You Want

Last week one of my clients called to talk about one of her employees whose work contained errors and thus appeared to be done quickly and carelessly. The employee works in the Marketing Department and posted a few items to the company’s website with commas in the wrong place, without periods at the ends of sentences and with incorrect links. The manager told me, “Her work was reliable until about two weeks ago.” And then the manager began to question herself saying, “Are my complaints valid? Maybe I’m being too picky.”

Regardless of how picky or precise our requests are, we want what we want. And trying to talk ourselves into wanting something different is a futile exercise. If you’re at an ice cream parlor and you want a double scoop of rocky road ice cream loaded with chocolate and marshmallows but decide to ‘be good’ and get lemon sorbet instead, you most likely won’t be satisfied and will probably be hunting through your kitchen cabinets at 11 p.m. at night looking for anything dipped in chocolate.

Get what you want. Don’t apologize for what you want or question if you expectations are reasonable or valid. Find someone who you think will meet your expectations, and communicate EXACTLY what you’re looking for when they begin working with you, rather than after you are disappointed.


Shari Harley is the founder and President of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, making it easier to give feedback at work. Shari is the author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. She is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training throughout the U.S. Learn more about Shari Harley and Candid Culture’s training programs at

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