When our nephews started their kung fu classes, their favourite thing was running around the house kung fu-ing each other. Jumping on sofas, kicking pillows, screaming hooya. You get the picture. It was driving us all insane. Of course being children, they didn’t listen to our pleas for silence. It was as if no one in the room existed other than the two karate kids. We wanted to influence them (without upsetting them) to quieten down!
Remembering the dictum, get people to do what they want to do, I jumped up and asked them, “Who wants to be a kung fu master?”
They froze mid-kick and clambered over each other, yelping, “Me me me! I want to be a kung fu master”.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! I want to be a kung fu master!”
“Okay, come, I will share with you the biggest secret to becoming a kung fu master.”
They sat on the sofa, eagerly waiting to hear this wisdom.
“Have you heard of Bruce Lee?”
“Bruce Lee is one of the world’s most famous kung fu masters. He said kung fu starts in the mind. You see, the secret to mastering kung fu is to master yourself. So you must first master your mind. Are you ready for your first lesson in kung fu mastery?”
They screeched in agreement.
“The one to sit still and be silent in meditation for the longest will be the winner and will surely be on the path to kung fu mastery. Okay?”
They nodded their heads vigorously and arranged themselves on the sofa, squeezing their eyes shut, willing the kung fu gods to make them masters. The two precious aspiring kung fu masters sat in blissful silence for the next half hour. In kid time, that’s an eternity!
Telling them to stop making noise serves my interest, not theirs. But teaching them to be kung fu masters serves their interest and ours…and world peace!
The biggest mistake I see people make when trying to influence others is that they think only from their own perspective. They build their case thinking about why it’s good for themselves.
To influence someone to do something you must think from their perspective.
In Dale Carnegie’s legendary book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he shares with you a way of being that seems more relevant today than 20 years ago as tech distorts social interactions. If you want to be relevant and not let robots take your job, cultivating the art of human relationships will make you stand out because robots can’t compete with being human. For now, here’s a summary to whet your appetite.
Less ME, more YOU
If there’s any one secret to success, it’s the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as yours.
A long long time ago when people used landlines, the New York Phone Company studied 500 phone conversations to reveal the most used word. Can you guess which word won? It was “I”, used 3,900 times.Think less me, I, mine; think more you, yours, you’re. Click To Tweet
Studying your communication and counting how many times you utter me, I or mine versus you, yours, you’re (and those sort of descriptors) is a pretty good indication of whether you are thinking from your perspective or theirs.