A tip I came across for asking people for favours; you just need to say because!!!
Harvard recently did an experiment to see if people could jump a photocopying queue in a typical workplace. These are the different requests and success rates they had:
1. Excuse me, I have 5 pages, may I use the photocopier? 60% successful.
2. Excuse me, I have 5 pages, may I use the photocopier because I am in a rush? 94% successful.
3. Excuse me, I have 5 pages, may I use the photocopier because I have to make some copies? 93% successful.
Somehow it seems the vague introduction of a reason is enough to produce an instinctively positive response in us.
Now obviously being British I wouldn’t attempt to jump queues, but I wonder if my partner might respond to “any chance you could make dinner tonight, because I want to sit and finish this book witha nice glass of wine?”.