How To Ask For Directions

What You Say When You Ask Someone For Directions by Gene Griessman, Ph.D. Does this sound familiar? You are looking for an address, and walk into a store or restaurant to get directions. A well-meaning individual tells you how to get there, but it turns out to be the wrong way. That’s no fun. But it happens all the time. (Individuals who give bad directions are time thieves.  An entire section of my book “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is devoted to avoiding time thieves. Just because someone is a good person is not guarantee that they won’t steal your time.) Here are two statements you can use to cut down on the risk of getting wrong directions. One. Ask: “Do you know this area?” or “Are you from around here?” This eliminates a lot of individuals who want to be helpful but don’t really know. Two. If the person hesitates before answering, say: “If you don’t know, it’s OK.” This happened to me recently. When I said, “If you don’t know, it’s OK,” the woman said, “I know. I’m just thinking of the best way to get you there.” That was reassuring, and she gave me correct directions. One final word. Don’t even think of rushing off without making eye contact and thanking the individual sincerely for helping. After all, you interrupted them, so make an effort to make that person feel good about doing something for you. –Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his services, contact us at 404-256-5927, 404-435-2225, or Learn more about Gene Griessman at and Don’t leave yet. Check out at least one other article. You’re already here. Why rush off? is full of good advice. We guarantee you’ll be a better communicator if you invest more time here.


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