Heather Hansen

Three Things Jury Trials Taught Me About Asking for What I Want

There are three things that jury trials taught me about asking for what I want. And I found that these 3 lessons apply to life outside the courtroom as well. I’ve used them to get what I want, and so have my clients. In fact, my coaching clients have used these three lessons to ask for raises, investment money, support, opportunities and help with the laundry. No matter what you want to ask for, these three lessons can help.

For over twenty years as a trial lawyer I had to end every trial asking the jury for a win. I had to ask the jury to return a verdict in my client’s favor. I asked for a win. And here are the three things all that asking taught me.

1-Use Evidence

Lawyers support their ask with evidence. . Before we ask the jury for a verdict, lawyers go through all of the evidence that supports that verdict. We give the jury all of the evidence they need to make giving us what we want easy. And when you’re asking for money, support, opportunities, or access, you should do the same. Collect your evidence. Organize it into a form that will most resonate with your jury–the people who can give you what you’re asking for. Use your evidence to support your ask and you’ll be far more likely to get what you want.

2-Be Clear

Clarity leads to yeses. At the end of my closing, when I ask the jury to return a verdict in my client’s favor, I show the jury the verdict slip. Then I show the where they’ll be asked various questions and I show them where I want them to check. I’m as clear as possible. Confusion is my enemy in the courtroom and it’s your enemy as well. When you’re asking for something, make it very clear what you want. Be clear on how you want to receive it. The more clear you can be with your ask, the more likely you are to get it.


So many of my coaching clients are afraid to ask. They don’t want to impose, or put anyone out. Sometimes they think the other person should know what they want and give it to them without having to ask. Other times they think that because they’ve earned what they’re asking for they don’t have to ask for it. They’re wrong. You have to ask. Can you imagine if I stood before the jury, gave my closing argument, and then sat down without asking them to find in favor of my client? It wouldn’t be clear, it wouldn’t be confident and it wouldn’t be convincing. We wouldn’t win as often. When you want something, ask for it.

Try it today. Take these three things jury trials taught me about asking for what I want and use them to ask for anything you want. And let me know all of the things you get.

Heather Hansen

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