Working with Others
Let's get into some quirks of people working with each other. So as as we talked about, you know, when you have more people on a team, the complexity goes up, the communication goes up. You have need to keep people on the same page and sometimes that makes getting things done challenging. So let's, look at why or how working with other people can be challenging. The first idea is an idea called bystander apathy. This is the idea that the more people there are, the less individuals feel responsibility for doing anything. Have you ever set in a large committee trying to make a decision and everybody talks and talks and talks and talks, and nobody really feels responsibility to take the outcome and do something with it. Committees are where projects go to die because nobody individually has responsibility for it. And as it turns out, this is something that happens in all sorts of large groups of people. So, uh, as as I was growing up, I was very active in the boy scouts. One of the things...
that you do and boy scouts is first aid training, cpr, all of those good things. Uh, one of the first things that they tell you is that it's let's let's say you're walking down the street, uh, large crowd, somebody falls down and has a heart attack there are a couple ways of approaching that situation first, you need medical help as quickly as you can, so the first approach is, hey, somebody call nine hundred eleven, somebody call an ambulance if you yell, somebody call an ambulance in a very large crowd, everybody is going to assume that somebody else is calling the ambulance and nobody's going to call the ambulance. So the first thing that they tell you is you say you take responsibility for the situation because you can affect your own behavior, right? You accept responsibility for the situation, you look somebody in the eyes point to them and say, you call nine, and when you do that, they will call nine hundred eleven or if they can't, they will go to somebody else and say, I can't do what you do it. So singling out someone in the group is way more effective instead of everybody else, assuming that somebody else is doing it. So bystander apathy gives us something that we can do in the context of project management. If you have a team and you have a team meeting and you talk about somebody should do blah fill in the blank and that fill in the blank is not assigned to a single person who has direct responsibility for making that thing happened, probably not gonna happen, so everything in a project plan everything that needs to be done by someone on the team should be assigned to one and on ly one member without ambiguity that make sense so there's value sort of fit in with this as far as someone feeling values since you're putting that pressure on that one person so someone feeling special are important does that kind of fit into it does that why would do with the you know when when people feel that they are responsible for delivering something to the team that's a feeling of importance right the team trusts them too produce a particular result ok now the other thing that happens is when we are planning particularly when we're planning in the context of a large group of people doing something with lots of moving parts people systematically underestimate the amount of time that it will take to produce a particular result and the more people who are all trying to plan how long something is going to take an adding all of their estimates together the more off that that planning projection is going to take this is called the planning fallacy when we plan how long something is going to take and doing that mental simulation in our brains we tend to use a very optimistic scenario so if we do a b c d e f g those all happened on time nothing unexpected happens then it'll take this long to happen what really happens is life right unexpected things her uh so I think I I use this example in the book no project plan includes a line item for project manager gets a sick out for two weeks but those types of things really do happen they really do impact large scale projects so one of the things that you can do tow overcome this planning fallacy because in business we need to plan things sometimes we have deadlines to meet sometimes we have launch dates that need to be hit sometimes things happen live and we have to be you know all be here in the studio to make sure things happen some things have to happen on certain schedules if the time that a project is going to take this critical and you need to have an accurate estimate of how long it's going to take askem ask someone who has a lot of experience delivering those types of projects because they are going to think an account for things that you are probably not going to think in account for so we were talking yesterday about the benefit of experience they're having a lot of patterns in the back experts having a lot of patterns in the back of their brain that they could do mental simulations on this is the benefit of having expertise in business people with a lot of experience have a much better chance of providing an accurate estimate of how long something is going to take go referrals in general people like to work with other people that they know and like and trust so if you have a choice let's say your car is in need of repair and you have a choice between a mechanic that you just find with a quick google search or in the yellow pages if anybody ever uses the yellow pages anymore or off mechanic who is a friend of a friend that they've had a good experience with in the past where you going toe shoes yeah the friend of a friend why trust your friends and uh and that's why you trust yes so this is the idea of a referral so somebody saying you should look at this person because they're good I've used them before I like them I trust them the question is why do referrals work they work because they transfer the qualities of being liked and trusted from their friend to the person that they're recommending right you like and trust your friend there friend like your friend like and trusts this other person so therefore I should like and trust this other person to give it a shot that is more powerful than going to some random person that you have zero information about and so referrals as a business person the very best form of marketing that you can ever get ever is a referral from somebody who likes and trusts you and is recommending them to other people anything that you can do to encourage people who are having a good experience with whatever it is that you sell to tell other people about what it is that you offer that's the type of marketing that converts to a sale as quickly as possible to referrals are very, very powerful planning planning is the idea that people naturally form and identify with distinct groups, so this is we're talking about dunbar's number earlier, so people naturally tend to form groups until it reaches about a certain size and then they splinter off into sudden to smaller groups and those grow until they splinter off and people have this instinctive tendency to associate and form groups and this is something that happens automatically whenever you get more than about three people together groups start to form, but you remember high school with all of the little cliquey groups that started that is clamming right it's an instinctive response we form groups now the interesting thing what happens when we formed groups is a process called convergence and divergence. So when a group has formed the people who are a part of that group converge, they become mohr liked each other all the time so there's little clicking groups in high school you could probably look at somebody and how they're dressed and how they act and how they comport themselves like, yeah, you're a member of that group that's convergence people in a group become more like overtime there was back in the seventies and eighties the whole idea of corporate culture so you could look at a person walking through an airport with a suitcase wearing a navy blue suit a very conservative shirt and a tie and say you work for ibm that's convergent divergence is the idea that groups different groups move away from each other over time so if there are two particularly competing groups that off though each form their unique group identity and then they will disassociate themselves from other groups sometimes this happens in companies the marketing folks are a group and the engineering folks are another group and they each have their own identities and they actually very slowly drift apart over a period of time there's there's a wonderful story this is actually in a influenced by robert sheldon e as well talking about group affiliation and convergence and divergence the best this would be a totally illegal experiment now but it's actually fascinating uh so they did a study of group affiliation they found this is called the robbers cove experiment they found a group of twelve year old boys and we're bringing them in tow to a camp in the summer and they specifically selected the boys to come to the summer camp to be as similar as possible same family same background, same level of education say mike same same same same same as identical a group of boys as you can possibly ever recruit in the real world on what they did is they separated those boys a notes on unbeknownst to them into two groups and they put them on opposite sides of the camp so for a couple weeks the kids just had a chance to interact with the people in their group and everything was pretty fine the group's size were about twelve so there was really no strong convergence happening until one group so the plan for the psychologists was that they were going to introduce the groups to each other and see what happens what actually happened is one group found out about another thea other way earlier than expected and then the wars began because there's another group in our camp and they suck because they're not us right and you start if you read the whole say it becomes like almost a lord of the flies this kind of thing where they start having like it's war between its best and this is what they actually had to end the experiment early because this was not a good thing but what happened is when there was a presence of another competing group all of a sudden these groups started forming unique identities right? So one group would like the upstanding they called the eagles and the rattlers right the eagles were the upstanding kids the rattlers were kind of the uh the rebels of of the group but they started fighting with each other and it wasn't until the camp counselors actually figured out that they needed some common challenges in order to bring those groups back together that the group started to converge again but it's just is this really dramatic illustration of we form groups very fast we differentiate ourselves very fast and in the context of a business or in a company if you're running a large organization with multiple departments, you need to make sure those those departments are working together, right? Convergence and divergence are a little bit of a barrier to that happening, so making sure a lot of times when you have a bunch of groups on you're trying to manage and keep them all working at the same thing, this is where competitors as a common enemy becomes a really popular and often very effective way to keep the whole group together right? We're not fighting against each other we're fighting against our competitors because they're out to take our market share kind things that's where that hole this whole conversation in business comes from convergence and diversions that makes sense now social signals social signals are tangible indicators of some intangible out value and the stronger a message the strongly stronger a signal sense, the stronger the signal is, the more value it has social signals looked like a lot of things, so for exam you can walk into a department store and buy an inexpensive courts watch that tells time you probably spend three to five dollars if you need to have a watch to tell the time really good solution, right? You do it fast, you could do a cheap, whatever, or you could go down to a jeweler and you could drop a couple thousand dollars on rolex gold, rolex here's the thing the rolex does not tell time any better than the courts watch. It just doesn't. So why does it cost several a thousand percent more than, of course, watch it's not about telling time it's about sending a signal to other people who see or nice gold rolex and think something about you because of it, that's, a social signal all sorts of social signals in our world, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, where we went to school, uh, how we comport ourselves in terms of title, all of those things or social signals, and so they're a couple ways of using this particular knowledge first, if whatever it is that you offer allows people to send a message to other people about who they are and what they value, there is really economic value in that rolex makes a lot of money because people want to send signals to other people. That's their primary value thank you can use this in a business context to make whatever it is that you're offering more valuable to people to whom that matters here's the other wonderful thing when you know this is how people work, and now that you know this idea, you will see it absolutely everywhere. If you know this is how things work, you can use that because some signals you really care about some signals you may not, and if you don't care about the signal, you don't have to pay for it. So part of the whole idea of the personal mba was there are certain people who value understanding how business people in systems work and what to use that to to produce a particular result and don't necessarily care about spending a couple hundred thousand dollars getting the initials mba after the end of their names. If you don't care about that particular signal, you could save yourself a lot of time and a lot of money and get the same results it's great, so understanding social signals allows you to pick and choose which one you said, does that make sense? Similarly, the social signals it's a related idea called social proof in ambiguous situations in situations where we don't know what to do, we do what other people are doing. The hole went in rome do as the romans do is a rule of thumb that we have developed its it's ingrained in us if things are ambiguous, we're not sure how to act. We look at our surrounding environment because the general idea, the reason that it works is if you don't know what to do, and other people around here may be more familiar with the situation than you, it's probably the safest to just do what everybody else is doing, which is fine, so we automatically pay attention to what other people around us are doing, what they think, how they feel, and so in a business context, this is a huge influence on our behavior, we do what other people around us are doing, um, and we also pay attention to what other people believe. So this is why when you're selling something, you've seen testimonials, case studies, stories of people who have used something in a way that benefit them, right? That's the reason why they work that's the reason testimonials in case studies are valuable in selling product is because the person who's evaluating you isn't a bit ambiguous situation. This is a good purchase for me or not, they don't know what to do and if there's a testimonial or a case study from somebody else who was in their exact same situation the most effective testimonials aren't oh my gosh this is the best product on the face of the earth this is you should totally by this right now, right? The effusive stuff doesn't work here's the best form of the testimonial ever I had this need I didn't know what to do I found this I didn't know whether or not it would work but I decided to take a chance I used it it produced this fantastic result for me and I would recommend it to anybody who is in my situation that is pure social proof, right? There's somebody else who has already been in my situation let me do what they did is anybody here use testimonials? Case studies in your work I do for my clinic and he'll get testimonials from patients have had great experiences and um and also like yelp reviews and stuff yeah, yeah that's works very well totally book sales amazon dot com reader reviews pure social proof why they work blurbs on the back of books from other authors who have read it social proof until two thousand five I used to write only fiction yeah, and the first business book it or it was in two thousand five and being an indian and a lot not a lot of indian artist business books I got the photo and wait tom peters yes. Then everything else is history yeah, totally. And that tom peters like this book and so I like tom peters there's there's a referral there but there's also a sos foolproof somebody I respect has argue like this is what works okay? Authority is the idea that authority figures are automatically strong and automatically very persuasive. And so most of us from a very early age are trained to pay attention to what mom and dad say pay attention to what the policeman says pay attention to what your teachers say pay attention to what this authority figure says this is something you know in terms of the survival strategy it's a really good idea for children to pay attention to their parents and holding hands before they cross the street, right there's a certain there's a certain amount of this that is really, really helpful to us developmentally that carries over into adult decision making and anybody who is perceived as an authority figure their recommendations, their opinions, their beliefs, their commands are taken automatically more seriously than someone without that same level of perceived authority. And so there are a couple of things that make this interesting. So if if you want to read interesting failure cases of where authority kind of makes our minds malfunction in a certain extent read influence so you have examples of cult leaders that establish enormous amounts of authority and then convince all of their followers to kill themselves not a good outcome but a really dramatic example of how influential things like authority could be on the positive side of things developing a reputation as an authority figure in your company in your marketplace in your industry makes it far more likely that your employees, your contractors, your managers will tell your suggestion seriously and follow them will make it far more likely that your prospects actually become customers because they trust your position in this market, anything that you can do to establish yourself as an authority figure makes you more persuasive, so it's valuable thing you need to be careful about is that the more you are perceived, particularly in the context of within a company, the stronger your reputation, the stronger your authority, the more people's opinions will change when you're around. Okay, the dramatic example here is I was actually reading a a profile of a day in the life of barack obama, current president and one of the things that he adopted from I don't remember which president that he read did this and he adopted it as as a really good rule is in a meeting of the u s presidential cabinet discussing an issue barack obama is the last to speak because the moment he opens his mouth and expresses an opinion, other people's opinions automatically changed to fall in line he's the authority figure and so if he wants to get good, accurate information and advice from the people who are supposed to be advising him, he needs to avoid expressing an opinion before he hears what they have to say as a leader of a company particularly a larger company, you kind of have this little bubble around you because people tell you what they what they think you want to hear if you want to avoid that it's a good idea to avoid it because the more accurate information that you have the better uh, you need to be conscious of what, how your authority affects how other people deal with you. So as a general rule, get advice before expressing your opinion if you're in a position of authority that makes sense how are we doing in terms of time? Good, we've got about eight minutes or something perfect okay? Commitment and consistency is another one of these things there's actually an entire chapter on this in the book influence if I haven't mentioned that book enough oh my gosh, put it on your reading list, you should totally read it. Uh, commitment and consistency is the idea that no one wants to be known as a fickle person no one wants to be known as an oath breaker somebody who says they're going to do something and they don't do it and so commitment is the idea that if you encourage someone to say that they're going to do something they automatically become more likely to actually do that thing and that's consistency so getting a commitment makes people more likely to act in a consistent way with that commitment later so if you have been walking down the street in a city and there are people out there with clipboards trying to get signatures for petitions and you probably heard people say a whole bunch of different things trying to get you to stop and pay attention and sign the petition you know one of the most effective ways to do that is it's taken environmental cause hey do you believe about do you care about the environment simple to say yes right who doesn't really I like my environment to be clean the moment a person says yes instinctively they've made a little commitment right? Okay so if you care about the environment here's a petition that you should totally sign because this isn't this is a logical extension of what you say you care about and if you walk away at that point you feel terrible right? I cared about about the environment but I didn't want to sign this person's petition right that's a commitment and you are acting it you are predisposed to act in a way that is consistent with that commitment this is the type of thing where in a business context it's really valuable to understand that in sales, this is called the foot in the door strategy like getting people to make a really small commitment to doing something send me your email address sign up for this thing let me establish a new appointment to talk you through this even the smallest of commitment makes it much, much, much, much more likely that the person will subsequently act in a way to honor that commitment. Any good examples of this you can pick up? I can think of largest on facebook there will be a four door which ones I'm sure the court off a small girl and say, if you have a loving sister to have this yes on then people have to think about what I said this reiner than there will be like sixteen thousand people saying, yeah, I don't want people to think that I don't love my sister perfect any other examples? So a lot of like service based businesses offer free estimates vary golic carpet cleaning says that what they're doing here a little bit yeah, so so there is, um, there's a certain element of people doing work on your behalf represents an investment, so they're investing in you that's a commitment into taking them seriously, and if you don't honor the sales pitch that comes after that free estimate, then you are being inconsistent with that action you're not valuing work I didn't really realize it was this that we're doing but in my clinic will do like free consultations or fleet free blood pressure check or some think when a patient comes in for the first time and then this is what happens, I think that that's that at the end the patient does feel like oh, they spent so much time with me um and you know, whatever else yeah, I didn't even realize that I know and that's the reason why it works and you know, what's really nice about this and for all of these things there's a spectrum there's a way of using all of these same things in a very scamming manipulative way and there's using these things to make it more likely that somebody is going to pay attention to this valuable thing that you can do for them right? So offering the free blood pressure check you're providing value to them, right? You're serving them, they're getting toe like you they're getting to know you getting to trust you and if there's a choice between doing business with you or doing business with somebody else who they don't know I don't like they've never done anything for them they're going to go with you and that's a wonderful thing so even though small commitments making enormous influence on people subsequent behavior incentive caused bias incentive goes bias is the idea that people with a vested interest will guide you in that direction not necessarily in some other direction uh warren buffett famous business person puts this in a very clear analogy metaphor never asked the barbara if you need a haircut because you always need a haircut people who have an incentive direct you that way and that's okay and so it's important to understand when you're working with other people different people have different interests some things that you choose to do may benefit them and may not benefit them and so it's important to understand that when you're talking with someone it helps understand what what their interests are if they're going to be biased in recommending one thing versus another why is that and is that ok? So there are all sorts of situations in which the advice someone is giving you may not be the best thing for you right so a financial adviser is very common in the financial industry right financial adviser advising you about investments will say give your money to me and I will invest it for you right I'm really good at this the financial advisor will not tell you usually that statistically you will probably make more money if you just invest that passively in an index fund and you don't pay a manager versus investing it with an adviser but it's in your best interest to know that there's a distinction there what they're advising you may not be the best thing for you so this is just a caution to pay attention? What are people? What do people have vested interests in and how is that going to influence what they recommend? You do not recommend it's in your best interest to collect all of the information and make a decision for you? Sometimes this is hard to do because of the authority thing, right? You go and talk to somebody who is really, really respected about a certain thing and their advice carries more weight. You really need to remind yourself to take a step back that stuff motile bias is the assumption that my way the way I prefer to do things is the best way the only way anybody does anything different, they are wrong. This is something we all experience to a greater or lesser extent. And so sometimes and I've actually noticed this a lot in employee employee e employer relationships or or when you're hiring a contractor, you tell somebody okay there here's a job that needs to be done and they go off and they do it in a way that is totally not the way that you would do it. But it gets the end result it's really, really tempting, even though the end result is the same way you do it right, right? This is the way that you do it even though the result was the same so this is a good check step for us when working with other people pay attention to the end result of the process just because someone does something in a slightly different way or sometimes a very different way doesn't mean that that's a that's not a perfectly valid way to do it, they sent pygmalion effect. This is the idea that if you want better performance from the people that you're working with, expect more from people this actually came out of studies done with students where they would ask the teacher what do you really expect out of this student? What what are their capabilities and some students the teacher would say extremely blight, hardworking, motivated they're going to do well and some students would be like lazy. You know the student is a very poor for poor performing students and they would track how these students did and they would they would track the teachers estimate of the students capability with the students actual performance and you know what? The higher the expectation that the teacher had for the students, the better those students did because when a when a student was not meeting the level of the teachers expectations the teacher would say something they would assume something was wrong they would pay attention, they would coach they would make sure the student was performing to the best of their capability if a student wasn't performing well and the teacher didn't expect them to perform while it's like they're just doing their thing and they wouldn't provide that attention coaching and support same thing happens in business we expect a lot from your employees you're going to get a lot out of them you don't expect very much you're not going to get very much but here's the trick the more that you expect from your employees, the higher the probability that you're going to be disappointed so this becomes really, really tricky if you're a manager and you have responsibility for doing performance reviews because there's a dichotomy here the people you expect a lot from will probably do a lot, but if they come in slightly below expectations, he'll be disappointed even if that versus if somebody you don't expect a lot from performs at a really high level, you'll be blown away and if you compare the two the person you expected a lot from that came slightly under maybe performing a lot better in absolute but you'll feel more disappointed in them the person you were performed so this is something you really need to be careful about it's good to have high expectations, but when you're doing things like comparing how people are performing in the context of like a management review, compare absolute performance not how you're feeling about them attribution error let's say we're doing something all right where you're working on a team and somebody's responsible for doing something and they screwed up bad what other people screw things up say all they're lazy there are bomb their stupid it's a character assessment when we screw something up always something unexpected came up oh something changed it didn't expect it it was the circumstances it wasn't me it wasn't my character it was the circumstances when we screw up we blame circumstances when other people screw up we blame their character and here is the trick it's almost always circumstances unexpected things come up so the attribution errors making the mistake of when somebody else makes a mistake we assume bad things about who they are when really the exact opposite is something is most of the time true something unexpected in the environment that happens and so this is a good reminder to ourselves to be kind when assessing other people because there are a lot of things going on in the environment that can affect what people do or do not do and those circumstances influence what they are or are not able to achieve option orientation thie idea that let's say something goes wrong there's a couple ways of dealing with that particular situation the first is oh my gosh something's wrong oh my gosh something's wrong I don't know how things got to be so bad oh my gosh something wrong you fix it you ruminate on the issue this is threat lock down mode ah bad ok there's another way of approaching it which is something went wrong what options do we have to act in a way that is likely to make it better right now it's a different fundamental way of approaching a problem so if something happens let's say your employees working in a company you talked to the ceo and you do that oh my gosh something's wrong they'll tell you very simply I know it's wrong don't tell me it's wrong again tell me how I can fix it so if you remind yourself when something goes when when someone's out something's not working, what are your options? Where did the things that you could do? What are the things that going back to what we talked about yesterday what's in your locus of control right now that you can do to fix whatever is going wrong if you focus on that stuff, you stand the best chance of making the bad thing better, which is what you're looking for in the first place now for all of these things, all the things that we've been talking about this morning allows us to construct for the first time a complete definition of what management is right so it's talked about a lot but it helps to understand what it is and how to do it well, so the first is recruiting a team who has the capability to do what you need them to do organized that team into the smallest possible groups where they have the capacity to get it done, but they can't commute they're not spending all of their time communicating with each other, set up a an environment where they can communicate and coordinate and making decisions and do all the things that they need to do without a whole lot of outside influence support that team build an environment in which they're able to get the work that they need to get done, done as if as effectively as possible help them plan in a way that's likely to be accurate, help them collect information that allows them to make, uh make better decisions and then measure whether or not what they're doing is working or not if it is great, keep doing it if it's not change it. If you read pretty much any management book on the face of the earth that gives you advice of how to create a high performance team, it will tell you this six things it's really not any more complicated than that the doing of it is sometimes quite challenging changes all the time, but the actual what is management? How do you do it? And how do you do it? Well, really? Is that recruit communicate, coordinate, support planned measure that's it we'll ask idea how do you get good people on your team? Right? If recruiting people who could do awesome stuff for you is a priority, how do you get people off? How do you get awesome people on your team and the rule here? And I call this performance based hiring when you look at the research in psychology, the best predictor of future behavior this past performance, if you want to know what a person will do in a certain situation, look at how they have acted in the past in similar situations. But you want to hire somebody who can, uh, build a web application for you? Well, we should probably ask them if they've ever built a web application in the past and check the quality of that, see how it worked out. You want to hire, uh, a producer who's going to be good at organizing a lot of people to produce, ah particular result, see what they have organized in the past that was complex, that produce it a particular result. And so all of the things that you can do to make sure somebody is going to work out really looks like looking what they've done in the past to see if it's similar, if they can transfer those skills over onto over onto your thing. So aa lot of hiring over the past couple years has really looked at you know, these these interview types types of questions which really only met measures one thing how well a person performs at answering questions in an interview doesn't measure anything else if you really want to get good people, ask them to provide examples of work that they have done that is similar that represents them well. So what are two or three things that you worked on in the past that you're really proud of? Show it to me, explain it to me let me see what you've done in the past then if you are sufficiently impressed with with what they've been able to do, then you say here's a small project here's an example of the type of thing you're going to need to do show me how are you going to do it? If this is a short project, you can actually do this in the context of an interview, right? You want to be a business analyst at our company? Here's a common situation can analyze it for me it's a great test or if it's a longer project hire them is a consultant first, have them do actual work for you for a while and then you can decide whether or not they're going to be a good employee longer term more you understand how people perform in context with similar things the better the higher you're gonna make make sense it's working with others well with that I think we're going to take a short fifteen minute break what do we have in store for us when we come back from break all right so when we come back from break we're going to shift gears into the sexy part of business which is system's gonna talk about basic systems ideas how to put him together howto build him how to understand how they work and then that will set us up for this afternoon when we talk about how to analyze improved great terrific we have some amazing quotes coming in from the internet rules lenka says this is such a great course so excited for josh's course today I woke up looking forward to this course so much I could use josh kaufman pep talk every day this has been an amazing day so far I can honestly say that as I've been sitting here I've been thinking about myself and kind of how we do things here and a lot of these things were doing well a lot of them we can improve on I'm honestly like I started reading an email suggesting that everyone here watch this section of this course because I want people here to be able to understand what we're doing when we're working in teams were working very intense teams here and it is very important that everyone be able to works to their best ability and be able to work with other people. You know, I made some mistakes even just this morning, in ways of dealing with people that, you know, I could have done a lot better.