The following article is based on principles found in, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.
It is tempting to read the title of this post and think, “Wow, that sounds a bit selfish!”. It may appear so, but the truth is actually the opposite. How DO we get others to do what we want? How do we achieve our goals and desires while still working well with others? The fact is, there is only one tenable answer.
The only way to get others to do ANYTHING you want is to make them WANT to do it. Remember, there is NO other way. How does one go about this? Think of something you wanted someone to do recently. Did you ever stop to think how the other person would benefit or what would make them want to do it? What would the other person gain from it? How could it be mutually beneficial? This is the only way to make others WANT to help you.
For example, everyone wants other people to like them. Acceptance and positive social interaction are basic human needs. How is this need fulfilled? How do we get others to like and appreciate us? Believe it or not, the answer is fairly simple: by taking an active interest in the lives and needs of others.
The next time you greet someone and have a minute or two to chat, look them in the eye and ask them how they are doing. You’ll likely get a brief or evasive response, people are not used to others taking a genuine interest in them. Don’t get discouraged, ask them about something of interest to them (family, independent projects, upcoming events they plant to attend, etc.). Eventually, people will view you as a positive presence in their day and seek you out. The key to this is to be GENUINELY interested in what the other person has to say. That means put the phone away and engage in real conversation!
My son’s mother often complains that he does not behave well for her and that he offers resistance to nearly everything she asks of him. I calmly explain that instead of making demands of my son, I subtly show how obedience is in HIS best interest and how HE will benefit from it in the long run. I explain how certain actions could harm him or prevent him from getting the things he wants. This tactic does not work EVERY time, but much more often than not.
Remember, the next time you want someone to do anything, ask yourself, “Why would they WANT to do this?” Manipulation and coercion should never be factors as they are disingenuous and fail miserably in the long-run. Instead, take a genuine interest in the other person and consider how your goals can help them meet theirs.