Make a direct request

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The power of “How can I help?” is twofold. First, you’re forcing your colleague to make a direct and clear request. That may be useful to him. He might not be entirely sure why he started this conversation with you. Sure, he knows he wants something, but until you asked the question, he didn’t know that he wasn’t exactly clear on what he wanted. Unless he was, in which case the question is useful for you, because now you can decide whether you want to honour the request.

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