1. Remember, if you don't ask, it will NEVER happen.
Wayne Gretzky once said, "One hundred percent of the shots I don't make don't go in." Likewise, the unasked question is never answered.
2. Don't beat around the bush.
3. If it's an extraordinary request, say so.
BIG requests are often the best requests. Be 100% upfront and honest about what you want and what's involved.
4. If the request is work that YOU normally (or should) do, explain why you can't.
You don't need to provide tons of detail, but again, be honest with the person you're asking (and with yourself).
5. Don't assume you know what the answer will be.
Maybe they'll say "No." Of course, they might say "Yes."
6. Recognize that the person *can* say "No."
You may not like it, but it will happen from time to time. Accept it and move on.
7. Request one thing at a time.
Asking for help, assistance, changes, etc., is fine, but don't overwhelm a person with multiple requests all at once.
8. Request clearly.
If there's an exact way it needs to be done, let the person know. Give them all the information to make a good decision, but also so they can really do what you need them to do.
9. Trust the person to do the right thing.
If you request clearly and the person has said that they'll do it, expect they'll do it correctly. Don't follow them around and hound them about it.
10. Say "Thank you." (Even if they turn you down.)
---Jim M. Allen, The Big Idea Coach