How to Make a Great Last Minute Request

Jan 13, 2016

It happens. In all your Togetherness, there will be times when you have to make a last minute request of someone for some reason. I just had to make a bunch over the holiday break to get late-breaking copyedits of my book out the door!

And then I received a last minute request myself . . . and I wasn’t annoyed!

Last week, one of my favorite principals in New Orleans sent me the text message below.  PS Ignore where she says I’m her school’s favorite celebrity (though flattery may have helped her case :))


After about one minute of thought, and even though I was in the middle of two days of teacher trainings, I decided to accommodate Julie’s request. Here’s why:

  1. It came from something truly unpredictable. Julie got some surprise news and wanted to do something great for her teachers. She wasn’t procrastinating and then dumping something on me. Big difference.
  2. Julie was incredibly clear about the ask. She said it was a 15-second video. I knew I could fit this in quickly over lunch.
  3. She offered me follow-up resources. Julie said she would send me an email (and she did) with the details about her school’s student growth.

Last minute requests are unavoidable, but the way in which you make them can make all the difference as to whether or not your wish is granted. And Congrats, Tubman teachers!

PS – Saying No (or Yes) Nicely