Home Promoting Yourself Mastering the Art of the Ask: Your Blueprint for Optometric Success

Mastering the Art of the Ask: Your Blueprint for Optometric Success

By Dia Bondi

In the world of optometry, where ambitions are as diverse as the patients you serve, your success hinges on your ability to ask. Whether you’re cultivating a thriving practice, fast-tracking your career, or amplifying your influence within the industry, the power of strategic asking can’t be overstated. The misconception that negotiation and strategic asks are reserved for specific moments, such as lease agreements or annual reviews, is a fallacy.

The truth is, you can use asking as a success strategy to get what you need whenever you need it. The key is to quickly and strategically decide what to ask for and make sure it doesn’t leave any money or opportunity on the table. Define your vision to create clear goals. Your journey begins with a vision. What do you aspire to achieve? Is it financial prosperity, extending eye care accessibility to underserved communities, or perhaps embracing a quieter, part-time practice? When you define a vision you have for yourself, you can begin to attach concrete and achievable goals to get you there. Goals that can benefit from a rock-solid ask.

Building Your Ask Plan: A Six-Step Roadmap

Step 1: The Goal

Start with a tangible, mid-term goal intricately woven into the fabric of your vision. Perhaps it involves expanding your practice to a new locale, assuming a leadership mantle in a professional optometry association, pioneering a community eye care initiative, or even embarking on a well-deserved sabbatical. Your goal should be both invigorating and challenging, sparking a fervor within you.

Step 2: The Move

Identify a substantial move catalyzing your progress toward your goal. This move could encompass securing a partnership, gaining mentorship from a revered figure in optometry, or spearheading groundbreaking research. Your move should be audacious, casting the stage for your goal’s fulfillment.

Step 3: The Ask

Now, immerse yourself in the realm of possibilities. What can you ask for, and
from whom? Create an exhaustive, creative list encompassing financial support, mentorship, resources, or collaboration. Align your asks with your move, choosing the one resonating most profoundly with your objective. Let your ask reflect your confidence and resolve.

Step 4: The ZOFO (Zone of Frealing Out)

Challenge yourself further. Dream big. The bigger the asks, the more you might get that exciting but slightly fearful feeling in your gut. That good. It’s a sign your stretching yourself and challenging your assumptions about what’s possible. Think of it as an audacious version of your ask, one that stretches your limits and ignites your passion. A
bigger raise, a more influential stage, a more ambitious role. Let’s call that your ZOFO ask.

Pausing for Reflection: Embracing Courage and Clarity

Take a moment. How does your ZOFO ask make you feel? Is it audacious? Fantastic. This is the essence of utilizing asking as a strategic tool for success. Your next step is to ensure your ask is as significant as you can imagine, prepared to negotiate down if necessary. Initiating with a bold ask ensures nothing is left unexplored. If you’er going to make a ZOFO ask, you’ll need some courage and clarity to do it. Step five and six can help with that.

Step 5: The Reserve- Define your non-negotiables

Set your bottom line. This isn’t about compromising; it’s about understanding your value. Your reserve safeguards your integrity, ensuring you’re perpetually respected in your professional engagements. It creates room for collaborative conversations, empowering you to negotiate without undervaluing your worth.

Step 6: Decide What to Do If You Get a No

Prepare for rejection. Have a plan for your next steps if you face a hard no. Rejection isn’t the end; it’s a redirection. Be ready to pivot, explore new avenues, or modify your approach. And while you may get a hard no now and then, these are just speedbumps along the road to goals. When you decide now what you’ll do in the case you encounter them, they won’t hold you back because the are not the end of your story.

Empowering Your Journey with the Six-Step Blueprint

Use this six-step process to generate a rock solid ask plan every time you want to use asking as a success strategy. Use it to make asks that gain you the money, authority, influence and balance you want and need in your life, career, practice and impact.

Dia Bondi is a Leadership Communications Coach and Author of Ask Like an Auctioneer: How To Ask For More and Get It. Visit www.diabondi.com.

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