Have you every noticed that some people have no trouble making requests while other people seem incapable of making a direct requests. Yet, one of the principle laws of prosperity is, "Ask for what you want when you want it and to then be responsible for whatever you get."

At the same time there are ways of making requests that have counterproductive side effects. For example, you can get a lot of people to respond if you make a request of them while pointing a gun at their head, but of course, there's many harmful side effects to making a request in this manner, not the least of which is that someone else is likely to shoot you.

So, let's look at the different levels of requesting. See where you fit on this scale. And if you want more from life consider raising the level of your requesting.

REFUSING ASSISTANCE OF ANY KIND: This is the bottom of the scale of requesting. And believe it or not, a lot of people operate in this area much of the time. These are the lone rangers of the world, people who have to do it alone. Perfectionists sometime fit in here as well since they're convinced no one else can do it as perfectly as they can so they have to do everything themselves. Do you ever find yourself operating at this level?

COVERT REQUESTING:Do you know anyone who never makes a request but is quick with a complaint. Often, complaining is a covert way to make a request. The person complaining would really like to have something done about the problem but they don't know how to make a clear request to the someone who could do something about it. So, they complain to you. Of course, you don't ever do this, right?

OPEN ENDED REQUESTS: An open-ended request is certainly more powerful than simply complaining but it still lacks punch. A full request will include a specific 'by when' attached to it. For instance, "Will you take out the trash?" isn't as powerful or effective as, "Will you take out the trash before the end of the day?"

CONTEXTUALIZED REQUESTS: What I mean by this phrase is that before you simply leap out there and make a request of somebody that you take the time to, first, get into their world and look from their point-of-view before making the request. Answering the question, "Why would it be in their self-interest to honor my request?" will dramatically increase the number of requests that people accept. Often, a recommendation made by a professional will fall into this category.

UNREASONABLE REQUESTS: 'Unreasonable' requests may be contextualized or not, so they could be categorized above or below Contextualized Requests. In either case, these are requests that stretch the person or people to which they are being made, and they are a favorite tool of many coaches. For example, I recently requested of one of my clients that she share her life purpose with 100 people before our next session ten days away. At first I was going to set the target at 5 but then I realized that the idea of sharing with 100 people would begin to break up some old patterns she had about sharing herself, whether she completely fulfilled the request or not. A few days later, my client stepped forth in one of LOPI's email list communities and shared herself and her life purpose with over 50 people that were on the list. Before the request, she'd not sent any messages to the people on the list, even though she'd been a member for weeks. That's the power of unreasonable requests. They can be an effective tool for helping people climb out of their self imposed boxes.

DEMANDS: Demands begin to get into the range of the requests that can have adverse side-effects although in the right place they can be quite effective. One way to make a demand effective is to make it from a stand rather than a position. In other words, demanding someone live true to their own standards and principles as a way to stand for them and their life will be much more effective than demanding something of them while being positional about it. On the other side of the equation, whenever someone makes a demand of you, it's useful to remember that it's still a request and you do have a choice whether to accept it or not.

VIOLENT REQUESTS: Besides the example I gave earlier of pointing a gun at someone and demanding their wallet, a more common example of a violent request is one that is made with anger. While it may appear on the surface to be an effective way to get someone to do something, it has harmful side effects in the long run. The 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum on the floor of the supermarket may get his way in the short term but he's also likely to suffer the side effects once his mom or dad gets him to the car. The same is true for the rest of us, although the side effects of using anger to get our way may not be as immediate or obvious. This is clearly a case where the ends definitely do not justify the means.

This week notice where on the scale you are most of the time. If your favorite way of making requests involves demanding or using anger, then temper back a bit and see what it's like. More likely you may need to up the level of requesting your making. Play a game to make at least 5 more requests every day and see what happens. Then, at the end of the week I invite you to share your results by sending me an email. Doing so will help you claim the new ground you've taken as well as being a contribution to others.

Author's Bio: 

W. Bradford Swift is director of Life On Purpose Institute -- an organization dedicated to people clarifying their life purpose and living true to it -- where he is a coach, writer and trainer for other coaches. Hundreds of his articles have appeared in such diverse publications as Modern Maturity, Hope, New Age Journal, Yoga Journal, and many others. He may be contacted by email: brad@lifeonpurpose.com; by phone: 1-800-668-0183; or visit the Life On Purpose Institute website: http://www.lifeonpurpose.com. For a FREE subscription to Purposeful Pondering Ezine, send an email to PurposefulPondering-subscribe@one-list.com.