Trainer Tip: Mary offers 3 foundational tips for making requests: positivity, specificity and doability. Trainer Tip Minor things can become moments of greatrevelation when encountered for the first time.—Margot Fonteyn Many of us have rarely asked for what we want, so a few tips on how to do this are in order. Tip number one: Ask for what you want, not what you don’t want. One time I was in a car with two young boys. One of them kicked his brother, so I said: “Jake, when you kick your brother I feel sad because I value everyone’s safety. So please don’t kick your brother.” He said, “OK,” and then hit his brother! I once drove for miles on a highway looking for a speed limit sign. Finally, one appeared and it said, “No longer a forty-five-mph zone.” I burst out laughing. All I knew was that I shouldn’t drive forty-five, but I still had no idea what the actual speed limit was!Tip number two: Be specific. If you want the house to be tidied up in thirty minutes, say so. Otherwise, you leave yourself open to frustration and disappointment. People may interpret “soon” in different ways. You may have experienced this already. Have the confidence to be specific.Tip number three: Make the request doable. Avoid asking someone to do something they simply cannot do, such as asking a person to write a thirty-page report in an evening, or your partner to bring in the garbage can if he’ll be out of town. When you make a request in a compassionate relationship, everyone’s needs are considered and valued equally.The final tip is to get into the habit of making requests. Everyone wants to give and receive compassionately. Don’t you enjoy contributing to people’s lives? They want to contribute to yours as well. Give them the gift of your request. The worst thing that can happen is they’ll say no. Make a specific, doable request of at least two people today. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.