Be more presumptuous (and get more done!)

Laughing businesswoman  at meeting“So, when will be a good time to start that?” “When you’re ready to get going, call me and I’ll help.” “ When will you be emptying the dishwasher?” “When this is ready to go then I’ll do XYZ….”

Can you hear how presumptuous I’m being? How I’m assuming things are going to happen, how I’m asking ‘When’ instead of ‘Have’ and I’m assuming that things will be happening rather than wondering. I’m presuming things which is a very subtle and very effective way of asking for what you want as if it’s already happening.

You’re coming at your requests, questions, enquiries from certainty rather than possibility that that is a very powerful stance to take. It has the effect of by-passing the if something is going to happen and going straight to the place of it happening but without doubt.

Now when I speak about this subject to groups of women at workshops or events, the session is called Be More Presumptuous For Quicker Results and here’s why – it circumnavigates doubt and goes straight for decision.

Let me explain. As women, we’re often more concerned in people pleasing and being liked than we are with actually implementing. Now you know I’m not saying you ride roughshod over people to get things done, of course not – I’m a true advocate of relationship building and of give and take – what I am saying though is that instead of leaving wiggle room you go straight for the energy of ‘this is happening already’. It makes you more assertive and it’s a natural way of asking for what you want which is always my intention for you to sparkle at work by being true to yourself. And being intentional, certain and committed at the same time.

As women, we’re often more concerned in people pleasing and being liked than we are with actually implementing.

When I studied NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming – the language of the brain and our way of experiencing the world through the patterns we learn – as it says in the brilliant introductory book NLP for Dummies, NLP enables you to understand what makes you tick, how you think, how you feel, how you make sense of everyday life in the world around you. How you can also use it to make sense of how others tick, think, feel which is where ‘Presuppositions’ – pre-supposing things as if they’re already happening – is taught as an NLP strategy.

When you presuppose something, when you presume something is already happening and you use your language to convey it and what happens is you start to move that person in their head, without being too confronting and this is where it’s easier to say yes to you.

Here are some presumptuous questions to tell people what you want to have happen as if it’s already happening:

  • “What.s the best time for you to deliver this to me on Friday?” – the only question is what’s the time on Friday – not will you ie no doubt.
  • “When will that opportunity be offered to me?” – not will that opportunity be offered to me, it’s just a question of when.
  • “Where do you want me to sign this off when you’ve finished it on Thursday?” – it suggests it will be finished on Thursday and the only question is where do you want me sign it when you have.
  • “Who else will you tell about this when you’ve come back from this trip?” – it’s not a question of whether you’ll tell anyone else It’s a question of Who – it assumes you will and only asks who.

You have to imagine it happening too so when you ask questions in this presupposing way, other people have to imagine it happening or having happened too. Abracadabra.

Let’s make it your time to shine, in your own way. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards?

For more information and immediately helpful tips on how to connect and be valued and heard in business:

Here’s a helpful, immediate Gift for you. Q is for Questions – A downloadable PDF of a chapter from my # 1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood.

Use the chapter to lead conversations, to be more compelling when you first meet someone and – crucially – connect with colleagues, clients, customers by the power of your confident questions.

About the author

Kay White is our Show Up & Sparkle blogger. Known as the Savvy & Influential Communication Expert for Ambitious Women in Business, Kay shows professional women how to attract promotion, recognition and rewards at work without feeling they have to ’sell their soul. Kay shows her clients, who are corporate career women at all different stages of their careers, how to naturally attract more income and opportunity all while being true to themselves. Combining strategic moves with influencing skills plus compelling and assertive language and powerful mindsets, Kay draws on her own 20+ years corporate career in the very male-dominated world of London insurance broking. She started at 18 as a Secretary and left as a Director to start her own business. Hosting an annual 3-day Event for corporate women “Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard LIVE” Kay encourages and shows women how to be the best, most valuable version of themselves. Kay is author of the Number 1 Best-Seller “The A to Z of Being Understood” and you can connect and find out more from Kay at :

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