Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Six Tips to Get Others to Do What You Want Them to Do Because They Want to Do It

Red Squares Snatch Victory over Blue Squares in Last Round

The Red Squares turned a sure defeat to the Blue Squares into a victory at The Exertion of Influence Squares Feud on In-Service Day.  The competition appeared one sided through out most of the game as the Blue Squares dominated each of the first three rounds; however, in round four, Jessica Gilmore came up with the highest point answer—Apologize—to the question “What do you do when you find out you were wrong in blaming others.”  It was worth 62 points which was tripled in the last round.  Red Squares won 257 to 198 for the Blue Squares.

The game was modeled after the popular game show Family Feud.  The purpose was to have all questions and survey answers on the theme of persuasion: “Getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” 
A seven question survey about how to persuade were given to 78 participating Green River students and tallied into the top 5 answers.  (A special thanks to Jeff Perlot for taking a portion of his class time to have his students complete the survey.) The game participants were asked the questions and attempted to match the survey answers.
The audience was enthusiastic in supporting both Red Squares and Blue Squares; everyone was a Square of one color or the other.
The teams didn’t play for prizes, money, or trophies—simply for prestige and notoriety.  Lansing Andolina promised space in the CommuniGator with picture for the winning squares.
The Red Squares consisted of Chitra Solomonson, Phil Ray Jack, Jessica Gilmore, Dana Davis, and Tina Christensen.

Special recognition goes to four participants:  Oksana Knayz for flawless score keeping, Paul Mueller for keeping track of point awarding answers and the dreaded “X” answers, Ana Morales for her stellar note taking that makes this article possible, and lastly to Lyuda  Zadneprovskaya for winning the “face off” round at the end standing in front of over 40 people and firing off point winning answers impressing the audience because English is her second language.

After the Red Squares celebrated victory with a picture taking session, all the Squares broke into groups to meet the goal of the workshop: discover six tips gleaned from the game that help squares get other squares to do what they want them to do because they want to do it.  The following are the Squares’ findings and good tips for all of us:

1.                1. Tell them why you are asking them to do something
  1. Build your Character (ethos) in the eyes of others: Have empathy and humility
  2. Use evidence to show other’s it’s in their best interest
  3. Do not engage in arguing (keep it as a discussion)
  4. If you are wrong, admit it emphatically
  5. Do not point out other people’s faults—don’t make it personal; stick to the issue
A thank you to all the Squares at the workshop and remember “in order to persuade the fish to bite your hook, you have to find out what the fish want and give it to them.”

Note: The title of this blog is a quote from Warren Bennis.  It is his observation of Leadership.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Last Friday, Julian Schnabel, a documentary film maker was a guest on the Real Time with Bill Maher Show.  Bill asked him about his latest documentary and he responded that he just completed one that was about Israel and Palestine from the Palestinian point of view.  This is remarkable because Julian Schnabel is a Jew.

Bill responded, "Now there's an idea, look at things from the others point of view."  Bill observation is right on; there is a word for it: empathy.

I learned about empathy in my late 20's and it is one of the best things to every happen to me as far as getting along with others.  If you are empathetic (putting yourself into the shoe's of others and trying to see the world from their points of view), it is assumed you have listening and understanding skills too.  It shows a genuine interest in other people.

Bill Maher and I agree the world will be a much better place if we could all try to empathize with others.  Why would we think we are the only person in the room who is right?  Why would we not try to understand others?  This can be done on a macro and micro level.  Neighbors, friends, families, workers, races, ethnicities, nationalities, and political parties would all get along better. And in the U. S. Congress, things might get done faster.

The vitriol we are witnessing in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, and other states would diminish and our government could get to the work of the people by actually working together.

My relationships at work, with family, and friends has had a major drop in stress and we are able to get past petty differences and live our lives in fun and peace.  I believe that it can be done on the macro level too.

Let's not draw lines in the sand; instead, let's consider others ideas, positions, and issues in order to try to see why they think the way they do.  It will lead to better insights and we'll get more things done.

Julian Schnabel, a Jew, is on to something by doing a documentary looking at the problems in the Middle East from the Palestinians point of view.  Let's all work to improve our empathy.