This is an important concept when being assertive
. When making a request of another person, the majority of people will phrase
"Could you please do X?"
If you really want someone to do something, try phrasing a request:
"Would you please do X?".
The former is simply bringing into question the person's ability to do X: "Can you do X?". "Could you do X if you wanted to?"
The latter questions their intention to do the task: "Will you do X?"
You'd be surprised the difference this makes both in terms of your assertiveness and the results you get.
Picture this: A romantic candle-lit dinner for two: the lighting is dim, the music soft. Just before the desert arrives, your beau takes hold of your hand, looks deep into your eyes and asks:
"Can you marry me?"
People who struggle with the concept of assertiveness will often be found using the awkward:
"Would you be able to..."
Which is just as bad as "Could you". Furthermore, it's one of those annoying turns of phrase
that irritate me.