You’ve been dying to visit the Italian countryside (the spot where Call Me By Your Name was filmed, to be precise), and—gasp—tickets for next week are really cheap. The only problem? You have a big project due to your boss next Friday afternoon.
How likely is it that your boss will be cool with you postponing the project and going on the trip? Well, that depends on your boss…and more importantly, the way you ask her.
Here’s a handy tip we learned from the new book No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy. The next time you need a favor from anyone (whether it’s your boss, your boyfriend or that random neighbor who keeps letting her dog pee on your daffodils), the best way to ask is in person, not over phone or email.
“Research shows that people see email asks as untrustworthy and nonurgent,” Fosslien and Duffy tell us. In fact, an in-person ask is 30 times more likely to end in a “yes” than an email request. Even if you do have to email your request, it’s always better to “first schmooze in person, over video chat or on the phone.” When the request is made in a more personal way, your boss can see the intention behind your ask and you’ll both quickly be on the same page. Plus, you won’t be waiting around all week for an answer—hopefully, you’ll get one on the spot and you can snag your plane and hotel tickets right afterward.