Effective Communication Tools
When you're working with other people, it helps to have an understanding of so so going back to the idea of power you can either compel people or you can influence them and influence is by far more effective and more sustainable than compulsion. So what makes people want to work with us? What makes people want to take our suggestions and do what we recommend? And there are a couple of concepts that really help us understand how to work with other people in a way that's likely to make that happen and the first idea is important the more important you make someone feel the more they're going to like being around you and the more they're going to respect you and the more likely it is they're going to do what you suggest that they do. There is a really great book on working with people some most of you probably heard about it. Some of you may have read it how to win friends and influence people by dale carnegie if I had to summarize that book in one sentence it's make people feel important...
write anything that you could do to make people important will make them like you respect you and you do what you recommend, but the more important you make someone feel the more they like you the more they'll respect you, the more you they'll do what you recommend the converse is also true the less important you make somebody feel the more likely it is that they will not like you not respect you not do what you recommend that's where things like compulsion become the power structure that ends up getting results right they don't feel important they don't want to do it you say so you have to force them to do it right so as much as you can avoid that structure in the first place awesome and just as a general comportment in terms of how you interact with other people this is the thing that you should keep in mind right how important my making other people feel right now has anybody ever had the experience of going out to dinner with somebody and the person? Maybe somebody you you only slightly new an acquaintance and they treated the waiter really poorly what did you think about them diminishes them and in your eyes right? Because if they treat somebody else without that level of respect and importance what are they going to do to you when the chips are down right? This is something that we establish your social reputation about as well. So if you do if you keep in mind only one thing is you're interacting with other people it's this make them feel important that make sense now on making people feel important? Guba wonders does making people feel important also make them feel superior not necessarily um and that's that's more of a personality thing on the on the other end I would guess um but making people feel important is really just we'll talk about exactly how to do that here here in a second um but making people feel important is just a ensuring that they understand that you value them as a person if you do that, you get the best result. The second thing is that if you want to communicate with someone in a way that, uh creates a particular result right, they take your recommendations, they value your opinions, they do what you suggest that they do there's another really important consideration and that's called safety there's a really wonderful book by four co authors that I highly recommend it's called a crucial conversations and the book is about how do you communicate when you have tough situations, right? You have you don't have good news, you're in a negotiation and it's not going well you have to give somebody information that they might not want to hear a suggestion that they might not want to do how to communicate in a way that that maximizes the probability that the outcome from that conversation it is going to be good and not negative and the central idea behind that is safety effective communication shuts down unless all parties feel safe have you ever been in a conversation with somebody and it's not going well and you can you can kind of see and feel them just put up this wall and you can both be talking but the conversation is over like nobody's nobody is communicating anymore like this is done that's what happens? It's called stonewalling that's what happens when one party in a conversation doesn't feel safe? They feel threatened so so it's kind of a social threat locked down type of situation, right? I don't feel important I don't feel respected this conversation is over we can jabber but nothing else is going to change so if you want to communicate, keep in a way that is designed to get results and you know in business that things happen right people screw up things don't go well that's ok it's going to happen, you're going to have some conversations that are not going to be comfortable the thing to keep in mind aside from importance in those situations is safety right? How can I make the other person feel safe enough in this conversation that I am not threatening them right? I am trying to communicate in a way to make this thing better if you think about safety conversations that you have will be much easier, does that make sense? Okay, now the question is ok importance is really important, safety is really important how do you do that? How do you communicate in a way that is designed to make people feel important and make people feel safe? And I call this the golden trifecta. This is my three word summary of how to win friends and influence people all right? How do you do that? And it turns out it's about three things appreciation, courtesy and respect. So if you communicate with people in a way that helps them feel appreciated for all of the things that they're doing, all of the things that they're doing well, all the things that they're thinking about are capable of that makes people feel important, makes people feel safe, right? They like you, they trust you, they do what you recommend. Courtesy. Best definition I've heard of courtesy is accepting small inconveniences on behalf of another person. Sometimes things go wrong, sometimes mistakes are made sometimes effort needs to be expended, and if you're willing to do just a little bit of something to make people feel important or make people feel safe except a small inconvenience on their behalf, they feel important. They feel safe, right and respect. Talking to other people is, if they matter valuing their opinion, listening to them when they talk, asking them questions all of those things that you can do to signal to somebody. You matter to me I want to hear what you say I want to hear what you recommend because there's value there those are all of the things that people, uh and take his indicators that they're respected as a person and when someone feels too respected they feel important and they feel safe. So these are things that you don't just keep in the back of your mind as you're interacting with other people that will change your behavior because when you're having a conversation with somebody, there are two parties here because the person you're talking to and to you remember our conversation of locus of control yesterday you don't control what the other person does, you don't control how they think you don't control how they feel. So the only thing that you control is you how you choose to approach the conversation, what you emphasizing what you de emphasize and if you emphasize appreciation courtesy and respect that's what makes people feel important and that's what makes people feel safe to break her full but this is probably the most important thing for business on because you do with people all the time and sometimes I mean sheen I can't speak to everybody else so actually good in corners in respect but what what do you usually fail is only appreciation on lee for the fact that you say here even if it's not perfect which it doesn't make any sense to me because when it's not perfect and you want them just how we do it and then it becomes sensitive topic yes and and when you look out and corporal they even have the language that rationalized this u u um most business people talk about the hard jeanie opium business you think friends and true but but I know that this phrase comes from the fact that as a businessman you fail on those golden traffic instead of fixing it you say I don't know pee in business that you make friends um can you talk a little more about appreciation toast if you ask somebody to do something for you and they don't do it and you respectful uh and they still feel unappreciated yes sir. How do you get so there's an enormous amount of difference between ok somebody else some work for you it's not perfect or it's not up to an acceptable standard right there's an enormous amount of difference between you screwed it up. Fix it right? That type of approach versus I I appreciate the work that you put into this it's not right yet here's what we need to fix I know you could do it right it's a tone type of conversation you're conveying the exact same information there's still work to be done right but the way that you do that it can be very, very different, and so if somebody has done work for you, tell them you appreciate the work that they've done so far, right it's not done yet, but I appreciate what you have done to get us to this point. We just have a couple more steps until it's going to be good to go, it's what you emphasize, that makes sense. So what happens, let's say you're an employee are in an employer or a manager, or you're working with a contractor, and you're asking somebody to do something for you, giving them an assignment you are of trying to get something done that matters what's, the most effective way to ask somebody to do something, the direct approach is, hey, can you do this for me? Just conveying the factual information about what needs to be done, that's the basic right? If you don't do that, you're not really making a request, but there's a more effective way of doing the same thing that can help you get a better result, and, very crucially, minimize the amount of time you need to spend, going back and forth with that person in order to get the intended result. And so this is an idea called reason, why giving a reason for request inc increases compliance, so the first uh this this idea comes out of social science research this is a book that I'll mention here first I will mention that many times throughout the course of this section because it's in awesome book it's by robert shell vini called influence the science of persuasion if you have not read this book, buy it now read it now it is awesome and it will change the way that you view other people so one of the things dr sheldon is a psychologist that does behavioral psychology he and and social psychology types of experiments and there was a fascinating experience experiment that they were testing asking requests of other people and seeing what people do do they comply? Do they do they agree to do what you want to do or do they say no? And what shall do anyone has to do is test various ways of asking people how to do something and see which produces the best result. And so as the story goes, they set up this experiment. I think this was that at harvard if I'm remembering correctly and there was a copy machine in the psychology department and there was there was only one everybody needed to make copies and so the lines for this copy machine work always long every day and so they decided to construct the experiment around trying to cut in line to use the copier machine that was the success and if you could ask people to cut in line in a way that that they allowed you to go forward in the line awesome it succeeded so they tried the direct approach hey can I cut in line to make copies acceptance rate there was like less than five percent like no go to the back of the line so they decided to test giving a reason I'm running late for my class my students are waiting for me kind of cut in line to use the copy machine when asked that way compliance skyrocketed something like eighty ninety percent because there's a reason right it's not just because you want to not wait in this line is because they're people counting on you okay yeah go ahead. This is what made sheldon e and fellow researchers really brilliant it's okay we gave a reason why that our compliance went from really low to really high what would happen if we provided a reason why that did not contain any more factual information about the request so here's what they did they said hey can I cut in line to use the copy machine so I can make some copies right no additional information being provided here at all but because there was a reason because I had something after it right compliance rate was still uniformly high eighty ninety percent people are looking for the reason and when the reason doesn't exist they say no so this is one of the things that you could do any time you make a request if you want people to actually do what you recommend it's really simple just make the request and adam because with some type of reason why it's one of those things that's really deceptively simple it works extremely well tell people why you're making any sort of request this idea of asking why also helps when you're planning large uh large projects and this is where the reason why I think or this is how the reason why element intersects with the communication overhead things that we were talking about earlier so this is an idea commander's intent comes out of research conducted by the u s military so what happens let's say you're leading an army into battle you are the command there you are the general you have a lot of commanders and lots of small teams doing things for you and you are giving them orders and they need to go out into the field and do something so the inefficient way of doing that is trying to micromanage your army right go do this go to this go to this go to this and one of your commanders may come back and say ok general this thing that you wanted me to do is no longer possible and they have to come all the way back to you and say ok moss what should I do next very inefficient you see your team's coming back and forth for new orders all the time there's a really easy way to fix that as it turns out and the idea is called commander's intent when you are giving an order or when you are coordinating a group saying this is your priority go do this and you tell them why that particular thing is important to do if things change out in the field but they know what why they're supposed to do what they do they can make their own decision to do something else that accomplishes the same result right so if it's commander go take that hill and the enemy has a big tank parked up on that helmet becomes a really bad idea to go in that direction but they know the objective they can find another way to accomplish the same result and they don't have to come back and talk to you so when you're managing employees when you're managing contractors if people know what you're trying to do and why they could find their own solutions to solving all of this problem and that's awesome because that cuts down on your communication overhead don't have to spend so much time chatting and you can just get things done that makes sense any things from the internet you know we've got a great question and I'm not exactly sure when it it's appropriate s so I'm just gonna ask you now, it's it's a really interesting idea be ryan from san francisco what if you were at odds with an employee such co worker who you feel is dragging the team down the boss we need them to step up but telling them they're important may not be genuine how do you kind of address that issue yeah there's you can the central idea is make people feel important as a person and highlight that there is something about their particular performance that's still not up to standard right so they may not be contributing to the group that may just be a fact but that doesn't diminish their their importance as a person or the respect that they need to feel in order to feel safe so it really helps to separate the valuing people as people and also communicating the there's something that needs to change here in order for the team to work really well sometimes people don't mesh with teams that is also a fact of life right and if you are an employee or a manager and someone in your team is not pulling their weight or not getting that particular result that's your responsibility to change and even when you have to fire people which is the worst situation has anybody here fired a person? Yeah how did it feel very, very bad always feel bad right? You feel terrible sometimes it's necessary sometimes you have to do it and even you in a business situation, if you're working for somebody and the person who has hired you says you are no longer on our team goodbye, that's the worst feeling situation that we can really experience in business there is still a way to do that as a manager, as an employee, as an employer to communicate that news, which is necessary in a way that makes that person feel important and respected as an individual. So it's the best way of making making, having a good outcome out of a very bad situation, I have a question dork that again, it's one of those questions that you're not sure where it's going to fit a job, but sort of, um I think in a lot of creative fields you tend to at least I've worked in a lot of companies where you have one person who has to sign off on a lot of things so their time is super valuable and there's like we were talking about the little the little mini groups completing tasks, but everybody needs the sign off of the one person which kind of lowers productivity. Do you have any solutions or any insight into that? Yes, the person who needs to sign off this this is actually an organizational design issue, so the very best thing that can happen is the person who absolutely needs to sign off delegating that responsibility to the team leader who was right there and needs to make the decision right. So eliminate that bottleneck. Put it in the team, because, really, those are the people who have the information that is going to be needed to make a good decision anyway, so make the leader of the team responsible for that. Sign off its super uncomfortable as a manager. Sometimes particularly if you're the owner of the business. And other people are writing checks with your money really uncomfortable. But that's, the best thing that you can do to solve that particular situation. Delegate the responsibility for the decision to the team.