Saturday, July 28, 2007

What does the other person want?

Randy was an engineer expat from the US. He was working with us locals on how we can improve some of the machines which their department qualified to run our products. I vividly remember the boldness with which he assumes himself in our midst saying "that's not what I want, I want this to happen...". I can remember the resentment I felt that day on this person. I was thinking to myself, who does he think he is to say that? He is not even our boss. We should have been working as peers. If I just didn't look at it differently by thinking that he may really know something for the best, I would have not cooperated. His dealings with us need so much to be desired. And I do not think I was the only one who felt that way. I know things like this happen many times in companies and organizations. One thing people have not yet learned is that the best way to influence people is to arouse in them an eager want. This is not accomplished by mere coercion or commands. It's more subtle than that. The sad thing is, majority of us don't realize this truth and I bet it would do you an enormous good (in your job, life & career) to consider this. This very simple yet effective principle should have been so obvious to us that you and I may just laugh at ourselves for missing it. Imagine for example that a salesperson is trying to sell you something, like a car for instance. How would you feel if he or she starts talking about how it would benefit himself if you buy it. Like, "you know if you buy this car, I'll earn so much that I may just be able to buy a new car myself". Would you buy that car? I gather you wouldn't. You need to be satisfied about what's in it for you. Is it worth your money? Basically, you are thinking of yourself not what the salesperson or his wants but your's. If he starts talking and convincing you about what you want and arouse in you an eager want for the car, you'd surely buy it. (That is of course assuming you have the money.) It's the same thing with any other negotiations or dealings we conduct with any other person. Be it your wife, children, boss, friends, anyone. If you want to build your influence on another person and have him or her do what you want without them having to feel resentful, then you have to remember what I have just said. Arouse in the other person an eager want!
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