Sometimes the quest for BALANCE – where you balance your wants and needs with those of the other person – is very practical. Case in point: reference requests. You want a good quality recommendation, while the person providing it wants to do it with a reasonable amount of effort (as little as possible, that is!).
Having worked with a good number of people throughout my career, it’s not too surprising that I get a lot of requests to be a reference from people that have worked for me. What I have learned is that all reference requests are NOT created equal. I’ll explain what I mean, and at the end, I’ll give you some tips on how to request a reference in a thoughtful way, that respects the time of others AND increases your chances of getting a strong reference.