New secret revealed: How to be more successful at work

The asking chain

Here’s something to think about.

How many people in your organisation actually know the answer to your question versus how many people just pass your question on?

The scenario is that you come up against a problem and need help to resolve it.

You turn to a reliable source to get it sorted, but are they the ones who end up fixing the issue, or do they redirect it somewhere else?

Are they a fixer or a middle man (woman)?

Are they a doer or a passer?

Are they at the end or stuck in the middle of the asking chain?

If you took out everyone in the middle of an asking chain and went straight to the person at the end how much time would you save?

How many less emails would get sent or phone calls get made?

How much smarter would you look?

How much more successful would that make you feel?

Crikey. I’ve written 11 sentences and 9 of them are questions.

Anyway – think of the successful bosses that you’ve worked for. Think of the people in your office who are able to get shit done. Think of colleagues that climb the ladder faster than you.

What do they have in common? They have shorter asking chains.

They cut out the middle man. They either are the expert, or they know who the expert is that knows what they want to know and they just go direct and get it.

Less messing. Less stalling. Less waiting. Less down time.

The smaller the company the easier this is. In large global corporations this can be much harder but will be the difference between getting a promotion or not. Between making a good impression or not. Between meeting a deadline or not.

So here are your choices:

  1. Sit in the middle and just pass questions on

  2. Be the person at the end of the line – become an expert / specialist who people come to, for the answer to their questions

  3. Find out who the experts / specialists are, so that you can go direct and therefore reduce the asking chain

The next time someone asks you a question consider this – am I part of an asking chain? If yes – what can I do to reduce it?


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