Let's introduce my friend, Alexandra Franzen, she continues to provide great content that feeds our business mindsets to expand beyond the norm. Alexandra loves teaching people how to communicate with clarity & confidence also a writing teacher, ghostwriter and the author of a couple of books. . Check her out at www.Alexandra Franzen.com
10 ways to answer the dreaded, “Can I pick your brain?” question… gracefully.
“Hey! I like what you’re doing in the world. I want to do something like that, too. Could I pick your brain over coffee?”
It’s an innocent inquiry.
It’s driven by a desire to learn, grow and do better.
But for many people, being on the receiving end of this particular question — “Can I pick your brain?” — can create feelings of guilt, stress and resentment.
You want to say “Yes.” After all, you’re a decent person. You want to be helpful and share what you know.
But if you say “Yes” to this person, then that means you have to say “Yes” to the next person… and the next… and so on… and soon?
You won’t have any time & energy left to do your own work or hit your own goals.
Instead, you’ll be running a 24/7 Free Advice Factory for Wayward Souls.
Is there a graceful solution?
I believe so.
The key is to answer the question you WISH they were asking.
Not the question they are ACTUALLY asking.
I will explain.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say somebody writes to me and says:
“Hey Alex! You’ve written some books. I want to write a book, too. Could I pick your brain over coffee?”
The question I WISH they were asking is:
“Hey Alex! I want to write a book. Could you recommend ONE resource that might help me to get started?”
So that’s how I’m going to respond.
“Hey! Many thanks for writing.
It’s wonderful that you want to write a book. Nothing feels better than getting to that final line, on the final page, and knowing, I did it!
I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but I want to share a terrific resource with you:
It’s a [book / blog / video / program] that I absolutely love — an invaluable resource for aspiring authors: [link]
Oh, and last but not least…
If you’re looking for a place where you can connect with fellow writers, bounce ideas and get support, I would recommend checking out this online community: [link]
I hope both of those resources are helpful to you.
Be well & happy writing!”
And then — since “Can I pick your brain about how to write a book?” is a question I get asked, a lot — I’m going to save that response in the Drafts folder of my inbox so that I can quickly grab it and use it in the future, without needing to reinvent the wheel every time. Easy. Clean. Fast. Ahh.
Here are 10 more ways to address the dreaded “Can I pick your brain?” question… gracefully.
1. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but I want to share a resource with you…”
2. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but I want to share one piece of advice with you…”
3. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but if you’d like to book me for some coaching / consulting, here’s how to do that…”
4. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but here’s someone else that you should definitely hire…”
5. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but I’d love to answer your question on my blog / advice column…”
6. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but if you make a donation to my favorite charity & forward me the receipt, I’d be happy to answer your three biggest questions via email…”
7. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but here’s a blog post that I wrote about this EXACT topic…”
8. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but please know that I am rooting for your success. If you give me your mailing address, I’d be happy to pop a little postcard into the mail with some encouraging words…”
9. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but I have a proposition for you…”
10. “I’m going to decline your coffee date invitation, but I hold a monthly meet-up right here in our fair city. Come on by, if you like. I’d love to connect with you then & there.”
That’s it. Just answer the question you WISH they were asking.
Offer something valuable — just not the exact thing that they’re requesting.
This protects your time & energy, while still allowing you to be gracious and generous.
Their heart is happy & full.
And your brain… can go mercifully un-picked
Time is precious to us business entrepreneurs, please leave a comment, thanks.
The Breathing Experience coming in January 2015
Eliza Dukes, Stress Release Instructor & Blogger