Book Review: Ask For More by Alexandra Carter

Title: Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything

Author: Alexandra Carter

Page Count: 256 pages (acknowledgments and notes begin at page 209)

Publication Date: 5/2020

Rating: 4/5 Stars

This will be one of the rare times I review a non-fiction book, but this book came into my life just when I needed it (actively job searching), so I had to share my thoughts.

I bought this book after watching an Instagram Live with Fashconnects founder Chantal and the author. The 30-minute convo left me feeling so empowered that I knew I had to get my hands on the book.

Admittedly, I lost interest in it after I bought it because, honestly, personal/professional development books don’t really do it for me. Reading them feels like homework, and they don’t give me the escape from reality I need from books. It took the possibility for a promotion at my job to finally pick it up, and boy, do I wish I did sooner.

First, Ask For More is more than just a guide to negotiation. It gives reliable advice about communication and developing a better sense of self-awareness. Alexandra Carter uses a two-part framework (five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask your adversary) to understand your view, their view, and how to negotiate in a way that makes everyone happy.

The best part about this book was how short it was. As much as I love to read, a book has to be really good for me to read more than 300 pages. Thankfully, this book barely hit that mark, and the straightforward writing style made it easy to read.

My Key Takeaways

  • Avoid close-ended questions that prompt a yes or no answer. (“Did you have fun this weekend?”) Instead, keep the question open, leaving room for elaboration (“What did you do this weekend?”)
  • Feelings are facts. We like to think we can and should leave our feelings at the door at the negotiation table, but neither of those things is true. Acknowledging them clears up any confusion around conflict, and facing them can help you make better decisions.

  • Silence is Golden. Embrace the silence that follows an open-ended question.
  • Asking the right questions can be informative and transformative.
  • Negotiating isn’t about winning. It’s about both sides walking away satisfied with the results.

Ask For More has its repetitive moments, and that bugged me a bit.

For example, each chapter has subsections that reiterate the same points like enjoy the silence following a question, or pay attention to body language. There are only so many ways you can say the same thing before it gets annoying. But overall, this book changed the way I’ll communicate in every part of my life, and I can’t recommend it enough.

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