Heather Hansen

First Choose What You Want

First, choose what you want. “What do you want?” When I ask my legal clients that question, most of the time I already know the answer. They want to win, especially at the beginning. I represent doctors whose patients have sued them. And when they receive that notice of a lawsuit, they’re scared, angry, and defensive. They want to win. So we start advocating.

Sometimes, what they want changes. Over the course of the case, some clients choose to want to settle. Sometimes they choose peace of mind, freedom from conflict, or to focus on their patients over the win. And then we change what we advocate for. Most of the time they can get what they want. But I can’t help them advocate until they choose.

Now I spend most of my time coaching people on how to advocate for themselves-to ask for what they want, and get it. And we start our work together with this question.

What do you want?

Often, they can’t answer. Many of them, especially the women, have never tuned into what they want. They’ve much more clear on what others want, and what others want from them.

“I want my kids to be happy.”

“I want my boss to be pleased.”

But when we dig deeper, they want more. They want passion, purpose and meaning. They want respect, support, and boundaries. When they know they can choose to want anything, they want a lot. And that’s great because then they can start advocating. You can choose what to want too.

Because you will never get what you want if you don’t know what you want. Once you do, you can advocate for it clearly and confidently. But you won’t be clear and confident with others until you’re clear and confident with yourself. That starts with choosing what you want.

First, choose what you want. Once you choose, then you can start advocating for it. You start using words, perspective, questions and evidence. And you start negotiating and arguing when necessary, using and receiving body language and tone as you do. You can use the tools of an advocate to get what you want. Anyone can.

First, choose what you want. Advocate for it. Get it/choose again. It’s really that simple, and it really starts with a choice. What do you want?

Heather Hansen

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