Give a Person a Reputation to Live Up To

You Rock!

“I have found that the best way to get another to acquire a virtue, is to impute it to him” – Winston Churchill

Do you want to get your husband to lose weight? Do you want your mechanic to do the best repair job possible on your car and for the best price? Do you want your employees to work extra hard to try and please you? One simple technique can accomplish this. It is the technique of giving the other person a reputation to live up to. Let me share with you a story and some examples:

 California Adventure Story

A number of years ago I took my family on a trip to California to visit my relatives and see some of the sights. Sorry to say, our car had other plans. When we arrived at my aunt’s house the car began overheating. Steam was pouring out from under the hood.

My aunt knew what to do. You see, she was a master at the technique I’m about to teach you today. She told us she had a mechanic that would take care of us. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and her mechanic shop was closed. Somehow she got the mechanic’s home phone number and called him. I remember very clearly how she talked with her mechanic. She talked about what a fantastic mechanic he was and how he had never let her down and how she loved to take her business to him because of his great service. Somehow, someway, she ended up persuading him to meet us at his shop to take a look at our car.

We went to the shop and she again talked with her mechanic like she had before, but did it in front of me and my wife. Then, in front of the mechanic, she told me and my wife what a great mechanic he was and that he will for sure take care of us and that he always charges a fair price. She went on and on about it.

I was amazed to watch this mechanic bend over backwards for us after that. He dropped his Saturday plans and went to work on our car. He found that our car needed a new radiator. So he made several phone calls and got one delivered right away. He worked very hard to install it and got our car running again. It was truly amazing how this all happened.

If my aunt had used the usual approach, the mechanic would have simply told us they were closed on Saturday and to bring the car in on Monday and they would look at it then. Instead, my aunt persuaded her mechanic in a positive way by using the technique of giving him a reputation to live up to.

 Example 1:

Let’s suppose you are the head of the software development department of your company and the company president has an important project he wants done. You decide you will assign your employee Bob to handle the project. However, you’re worried that Bob may not do the best job possible. So you decide to use this great persuasion technique.

You arrange a meeting with the company president where you and Bob go over the details of the project with him. As the meeting is about to conclude you say to the company president, “You don’t have to worry about a thing. There is nobody better than Bob at being able to take on a challenge like this. He’s one of my best programmers and I know he will be able to complete this project quickly and efficiently.” You go on and on with the company president about what a great programmer Bob is.

Now, do think for one minute that Bob is going to mess up on this project? Here he was praised and built up right in front of the company president. If this is how his boss thinks of him there is no way he is going to let him down. He now has a reputation to live up to, and he will!

 Example 2:

Let’s explore dealing with your children. Suppose your son is being mean to his sister and you need to correct him. Instead of beating him up verbally and telling him what a bad person he is, try this:

“Son, I just don’t understand it. You are normally one of the kindest boys I’ve known. It’s just not like you to act this way. I’m so surprised. I’m sure you won’t do this again because you’re just not that way.”

So now your son thinks, “Wow, my dad thinks that about me and now look what I’ve done, I’ve let him down.” He’s going to try extra hard to not let you down in the future because now you’ve given him a reputation to live up to.

 Example 3:

Let’s suppose that your husband has gained a little weight and he isn’t in quite the shape that you know he could be. You could say:

“Gee honey, you’ve put on a few pounds lately. Maybe you shouldn’t eat so much. You know you really ought to get out and get some exercise.”

How is that going to make him feel? Is it going to make him want to go right out and start exercising and eating right? Not hardly. It’s going to make him feel horrible! First of all he is going to justify why he is the way he is. And then he’s going to fight against it. It’s human nature.

Or you could use the other approach of giving him a reputation to live up to. When he comes home from work you give him a big hug and say:

“Gosh, you look so good today! Have you lost weight? You’ve been working out, haven’t you? I’m so glad you’re not like all my friend’s husbands. They just let themselves go and are so huge. Thanks for working so hard at keeping yourself fit and trim.”

Now, I’m not advocating lying. What I’m advocating is looking for the positive and accentuating it.

 Try it!

You can imagine which approach you would prefer if you were on the receiving end? Which would motivate you more to change? As you can see, giving the other person a reputation to live up to is an excellent tool for positive persuasion. I challenge you to try this technique over the next week and see what results you get.

Let me know how it goes by sharing your comments below.

6 Tips to Develop Self-Confidence with Others

Self-Condidence

Are you the kind of person who struggles in social settings? Are you shy and tend to stand in the background? Do you run from social situations because they are scary and uncomfortable for you?

You may have seen other people that seem to project self-confidence. They appear to have no problem in any social situation. They make friends easily and seem to be able to connect with others. How do they do it?

Today I’m going to share 6 ways to help you develop confidence with others. If you follow these six simple tips you will begin to feel more confident with yourself and more comfortable in social settings. There is no magic here, just six simple tips. Here they are:

Tip Number 1: Be a Front-Row-Seater

When you attend any function such as a meeting, seminar, or class where there is a large group of people, what is the first row of seats that fill up? The back row! It seems like most everyone wants to be in the back, out of the way, unobtrusive, and unnoticed. They want to just slide into the back unobserved. You need to change that attitude. You need to be a front-row-seater.

Let’s face it; outgoing, confident people don’t sit on the back row. You will find those people sitting on the front row and that’s where you should be also. It’s a signal of your willingness to jump in and be a part of the situation. Sitting on the front row may be uncomfortable at first but it puts you right up there with the important people. Another benefit isthat you are better able to contribute to the meeting or discussion than if you are sitting in the back. So that’s my first suggestion is to be a front-row-seater.

Tip Number 2: Make eye contact

Have you noticed that shy people rarely look you in the eye? When you walk past them they tend to avoid you and look the other way. It’s very uncomfortable for them to look you in the eye. This usually happens because they are afraid to engage you, meaning if they acknowledge you in any way then they may have to actually say something to you. It’s easier and safer to pretend they don’t see you.

Maybe you are that kind of person and have that same problem. Maybe you don’t even notice it. Pay attention to how you react when you pass someone on the sidewalk or in the hallway at work. Do you look the other person in the eye and make eye contact? If not then you have some work to do.

If you want to convey the message that you are a self-assured and confident person then you need to practice looking others in the eye. Don’t be afraid of the other person. Acknowledge that you see they are there. I’m not saying you should stare them down or that it should be some sort of confrontation, but that it should be a friendly gaze into the other person’s eye.

Tip Number 3: Walk 25% faster

I’ve noticed that there are some people who walk extremely slow. It’s amazing how slow some people walk. I don’t even know how they can walk so slowly. My body doesn’t even go that slow. They just sort of plod along as if they were pulling a 200 pound weight behind them, dragging from one place to the next. It’s frustrating sometimes to get stuck behind slow moving people! When a snail has to tell you to get out of road, then you know you’re going too slow!

When you see someone like this, what are your thoughts? I don’t know about you but I have a hard time not thinking of them in negative terms, like they are aimlessly going nowhere. I’m ashamed to admit that the term “loser” crosses my mind a time or two.

But when you see someone walking briskly with their shoulders straight, their head up and they are moving forward as if nothing is going to stop them, you get the impression that they are a person that has confidence in themselves and are going places in life.

So my tip is to walk 25% faster than you normally walk. When I say 25% faster, I don’t mean that you should get a pedometer and measure exactly your walking speed and then increase it by 25 %. What I mean is for you to make sure you walk briskly with confidence, like you have somewhere important to be. Walk like you have meaning and direction in your life.

Tip Number 4: Speak Up!

You may not be aware of it but many times when we speak to each other we speak in barely audible tones. Have you noticed that people who are confident and seem to be going somewhere speak up, speak clearly and speak loudly? Again it’s a message of confidence. It’s a message of “I’m not afraid to speak up. I have a healthy self-image. I have something important to say and I’m not just going to mumble it or say something under my breath, but I’m going to speak up and be heard!” So speak up!

Tip Number 5: Smile and smile big

There are some people who seem to carry the whole world on their shoulders. They have a perpetual cloud over their head and a sour expression on their face. They make you wonder what kind of sad, miserable life they live.

Then there are those who go around with a permanent smile on their face. They are friendly and confident and cheerful. They look you in the eye and say “Hello!”

Think about which kind of people you like to be around. Are they the ones that always have a grim look on their face or those that have a smile? Let’s face it, who wants to hang around a grump? We would much rather be around those that are happy and cheerful. It’s normal and natural.

So smile and smile big! Show others that you are happy and that you are glad to see them. Show them that you are pleased with who you are and where you are going in life.

Tip Number 6: Call the other person by name

It’s been said many times that the sweetest word in the English language is a person’s own name. People love it when somebody uses their name.

Let’s be honest. When someone takes the time to learn your name and remembers it the next time they meet you, aren’t you impressed? Don’t you instantly like that person? And when someone who should know your name can’t seem to recall it, doesn’t your opinion of them drop by about 1000 percent? The non-verbal message is that you are not important enough for them to learn your name. We are all human and have a need to feel important. When someone remembers your name you feel more important than when someone can’t remember your name.

We can have impact and power with other people when we take the trouble to learn their name and use it then next time we see them.

So that’s my message for today. If you want to develop more confidence with others and feel more comfortable in social settings, follow these 6 simple tips.

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)