How to Get Total Cooperation from Others

Cooperation

Have you ever needed someone’s help only to find that getting it was like pulling teeth? Maybe you were going about it all wrong. Suppose there was another way to solicit help from others that would almost guarantee their total cooperation. If you are interested, then read on.

Try This Test

Try this test the next time you want someone to help you with something. It doesn’t really matter what you need help with. It can be shoveling snow, painting a fence or solving a computer problem.

Test 1: For the first test, simply ask someone to help you. Say, “Will you help me do this?” Tell them exactly what you want them to do and how to do it. You can even offer to pay them, but make it clear that all you are paying them to do is just what you want them to do. Now note what kind of cooperation you get.

Test 2: For this second test don’t just ask the other person to help you “do” something. Approach them by asking them to help you think about the job that needs to be done. Tell them you have a problem and would like their help in resolving it. Ask them what they think about the problem. Ask them for their opinion about how you are going about it. Again, note what level of cooperation you get.  

Inevitably, you will find that although you will get some level of cooperation with the first method, you will almost always get total cooperation with the second method.

A Basic Law of Human Nature

Why is it that if you are out in your yard painting your fence and you ask your neighbor, “Hey John, can you come over and help me paint my fence?” he will tell you to go take a hike?

But if you say, “John, I’m trying to paint my fence and I just don’t know if I’m doing it right. I just can’t seem to get the paint to go on very smooth. Do you have any ideas of what I’m doing wrong?” John will more than likely come over, take the paint brush out of your hand and say, “Here, let me show you how it’s done.”

The reason is simple. There is a basic law of human nature that says we are much more interested in our own problems than the problems of others. When you ask John to help you paint your fence, it is your problem. But when you ask for his advice about painting the fence, you give him a challenge to solve a problem and thus the problem becomes his.

We Need to Be Needed

Another factor involved here is the human need to feel important. By asking John for advice you gave him the feeling of importance, the feeling of being needed. We are much more willing to give of ourselves when we are being looked up to and sought out for our knowledge and skills. It is much easier to engage the brawn when the brain is involved.

This works with painting fences or running billion-dollar corporations. The next time you would like someone to do something, rather than tell them to do it, engage their brain. Let them contribute their ideas and become part of the solution to the problem and you will find them bending over backwards to help you. It’s human nature and it works every time.

The Most Powerful Word in the English Language

whyI want to talk today about the most powerful word in the English language. It has only three letters. It is the word why.

Often when we are in a situation where we need to influence and persuade someone to see our point of view or to carry out some task, the other person will have objections. It is human nature for us to immediately want to argue the point with them using logic and reason. The problem with this method is that nobody likes to be proven wrong. Even when people know they are wrong they hate to admit it. You push against them and they tend to push back.

Instead of hitting them with a direct frontal assault by arguing with them about their objections, there is a better way.  This is where we use our most powerful word.

When the other person raises an objection, ask the question “Why?” and let them talk. When they have explained their objection, then ask again “Why?” and let them talk some more. Keep them talking by using the words “Why” or “Why not.” Nine times out of ten they will come to realize the folly of their own position and talk themselves out of it. Many times they come to find out that their reasons just don’t add up.

The key is to use your ears instead of your tongue. There is no argument that you could use that will be half as effective as their own words.

I challenge you to try this method of positive persuasion. The next time you need to get someone to do something, use the most powerful word in the English language – Why. Let us know how it went. We would love to hear from you.

The Magic of a Smile

The magic of a smile
Photo by Arvind

You have with you at all times a tool that takes very little effort to use and yet has a magical effect on the people around you. It is your smile.

Who would you rather deal with?

Think for a moment about the people you deal with on a daily basis such as your family, your co-workers or your friends. Which are the ones you enjoy being with the most? Isn’t it generally those people who approach you with a smile on their face, who are cheerful and seem to be in a good mood?

Now think for a moment about those people with whom you must deal with who rarely smile. I’m talking about those people who always seem to have a scowl on their face. It’s not a pleasant experience to be with them, is it? Their mood rubs off on you. By nature you tend to resist these kinds of people. We don’t want to be around them.

Now the big question: Which kind of person are you? When you walk into a room does the room become brighter because of your glowing, cheerful smile? Or do you bring with you a dark cloud of gloom that overshadows everyone else?

How is your smile?

You may not even realize which kind of person you are. You may think you have a pleasant, cheerful countenance and have just the opposite. I found this out the hard way about me! We had just returned from a family vacation and were watching our home videos of it. I was surprised that in nearly every shot of me I had what looked like a scowl on my face. I remember thinking to myself, “Is that how I normally look to other people?” I have been working since then to consciously smile more.

I read this little verse recently and thought I would share it with you. It goes like this:

The Smile

It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive
without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash,
and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get along without it,
and none are so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home,
fosters goodwill in a business,
and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary,
daylight to the discouraged,
sunshine to the sad,
and nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,
for it is something that is no earthly good to anyone
until it is given away.
And if in the course of the day some of your friends
should be too tired to give you a smile,
why don’t you give them one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much
as those who have none left to give!
– Author Unknown

What is the power of a smile?

A genuine smile has the power to put others at ease. It can cheer their day and lighten their burdens. It can help you connect with others. A smile can be contagious and change the whole feeling and mood of a room full of people. A smile not only benefits the recipient but also the originator. A smile simply makes you look better. It is an instant facelift. A great smile automatically draws people to you. There is truth in the saying:

“A smile is a little curve that sets a lot of things straight.”

I challenge you to be more conscious of your smile. When you are having a good time, be sure to tell your face! Your smile is your welcome mat. Make sure it is inviting. Use the magic power of your smile.

Marketing Yourself, Part 2 – Name Recognition

Name Recognition

(Note: This is Part 2 of a four part series on Marketing Yourself)

Part of any marketing campaign is developing name recognition. Professional marketers do this by getting their product name in front of people as often as possible and in as many ways as possible. Think of how many ways the Coca-Cola Company gets the name Coke in front of you. It’s everywhere it seems. I remember being in a small village in China, in the middle of nowhere, and there was the Coke logo on a sign outside a small shop. Coca-Cola has done a great job of developing name recognition.

In a similar way you need to develop name recognition. You need to get your name and face out there in front of people on a regular basis. My tips today are slanted more to the corporate world but the ideas can be applied to other situations. Here are three simple ways to do develop name recognition:

1. Step Outside of the Box (physically and mentally)

We’ve all heard the term, “Think Outside the Box.” Well, we also need to Step Outside the Box, mentally and physically. You can no longer hide behind your PCs or camp out in your cubicles or offices. It’s easy to spend the entire day at our desks. Get out of the office. Be seen and be heard. Attend meetings.Visit other people in their environment and see what exactly it is they do. Find out what their concerns and frustrations are. You will be amazed at what you learn.

2. Communicate Regularly

Communicate regularly with your boss and with your bosses’ boss.  This means more than just memos. Use the phone or meet one-on-one with them. Try to arrange to meet with each of them each month.  Do this by having something to report or show them.  Show them you are interested in two things – making their jobs easier and increasing the bottom line of the business. This face-time with them is extremely important when it comes to building name recognition.

3. Participate in Company Events

Many organizations have events such as annual picnics, Christmas parties or golf tournaments. Make it a point to be to these events and actively participate. They sometimes seem like insignificant activities but that’s not the case. What these activities provide are opportunities to rub shoulders with and get to know people of all levels of the organization. You get to know them and they get to know you. Plus you are seen as a team player, as part of the corporate culture.

Each of these techniques help you build name recognition within your group or organization. When your name is recognized in a positive light by the decision makers, this can only be for your benefit.

(Look for the next two articles in this four-part series on Marketing Yourself)

Marketing Yourself, Part 1 – Why You Need It

Marketing Yourself

(Note: This is Part 1 of a four part series on Marketing Yourself)

“If you think marketing doesn’t work, consider the millions of Americans who now think that yogurt tastes good.”     Joe L. Whitley, management consultant

What does Marketing Yourself have to do with People Skills?

You may wonder what marketing yourself has to do with people skills. Is marketing yourself really part of people skills? I say definitely yes! Why do you want to improve people skills in the first place? One of the goals of improved people skills is to influence and persuade others. Another goal is to put yourself across to others in the best light. Marketing yourself helps you do this.

What is Marketing?

What is marketing anyway? Marketing is simply creating an awareness of value. If you’re marketing a product then you’re putting that product forward in the most favorable light. You’re exposing it to people and showing the benefits of it; why someone would want it, why it would be something of value to them.

Why do you need Marketing?

The same thing goes with marketing yourself. You can compare yourself to a product. You need to be creating an awareness of your value. You need to be tooting your own horn, bragging a little! You need to help the captain of your ship see you as part of the crew, not as useless cargo. Marketing yourself is using various means and methods to communicate to others your value.

Like it or Not – You Are Already Marketing Yourself

You might think it’s not your job to do marketing. Well guess what, you’re already doing marketing every day. What you say in meetings, in the elevator, at the water cooler, the way you look and dress – it’s all marketing! If you’re not paying attention to how you’re doing your marketing you may be in trouble. It doesn’t matter how much you know or how much you contribute to your organization if no one knows about it. What does upper management know about you? What does the rest of the company know or think about you? Marketing really can make a difference.

What are some of the benefits?

What are some of the benefits? Let’s say your company is in the process of choosing someone to fill a key position and they have a choice between several people, including you. If you have been successfully marketing yourself you will be looked at in a more favorable light because of the way you look, they way you act and the way you talk. With all things being equal they will choose you over the other candidates.

This doesn’t just apply to the corporate or business world but also to your personal life. When you have successfully marketed yourself to your family, your neighbors and your community, they will see you and think about you in a more positive light. They will see you as a person who is friendly and kind, who they want to be around. The relationship you have with your neighbors, your family or your book club will be a positive experience. This can then open up many other opportunities for your future success and happiness.

Truth in Advertising

All the marketing in the world isn’t going to make a bad product good. Marketing will only get you so far. You need to walk your talk. Your performance needs to match your marketing for it to be effective. There must be substance behind the marketing. Be good at what you do and then market the heck out of it!

(Look for the next three articles in this four-part series on Marketing Yourself)