People Skills

5 Tips to Boost Productivity by Getting Others to Work for You – Part 2

How to Influence people to boost your Productivity
wrote this on March 23, 2012
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We received a lot of positive feedback from my previous blog post “5 tips to boost productivity by getting others to work for you”, so without further a due, here are 5 more tips.

The previous tips were all about your own confidence and leadership.  The following tips are more about the people who will help you.  (Notice the positivity – not “may” help you” but “will” help you.)

#1 Reciprocate – it’s an evolutionary mechanism that no one can resist

When we were hunters, the hunters that didn’t know how to share their spoils did not develop a lasting social structure.  They effectively cleaned themselves from the genetic pool.  The hunters that knew how to share; they worked together over the ages to create the world around us.  In the core of all of us hides a prehistoric instinct to help when given.

Prior to asking for help, give something.  Giving to others creates a commitment between the two parties, it’s a subconscious bond.  It’s a bond based on our social obligation towards each other… that’s the guilt you feel when you know you owe someone something.

So give and you shall receive!

#2 Don’t make a big deal of what you are asking – reduce the psychological entry barrier

Think about your requests as something measurable.  It’s less probable to get something that takes a lot of effort, so break it up to pieces.  If you approach them and ask for little things you do two things:

First – You create a “commitment momentum” (was explained in the previous post) that will support their decision to help you with bigger things in the future because they already helped.

Second – If it’s easy and it doesn’t look like much, you removed the entry barrier.

#3 Control your tone and vocabulary to boost productivity in others

If you speak loudly, people will maintain their distance from you.  Speaking softly brings a person into your personal space; it will make him feel closer to you thus more susceptible to your requests.

Demanding and using harsh language will almost always guarantee rejection.

Be humble and decisive, and you’ll get what you want.

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#4 Use the names of Friends or Colleagues that are working with you on the project

Use the power of “social proximity” to get help from people.  “Name Dropping” in this sense is perfectly fine.  When people find out their friends/colleagues are also involved, they’ll want in too (“birds of a feather flock together”.)

Be subtle, for example: “Joe is helping with the prelim research; I was hoping you could take a look at the sales forecast”.

#5 Make doing the task easy, make working with you great!

Be an enabler, someone who facilitates tasks from idea to done!

Provide them with a workspace or frameworks to work with, remove obstacles, and provide resources.  Be sure to support them as needed…you get the picture.

Once people understand that you’re the person who makes things happen they’ll try to get closer with hopes that some of your awesomeness will rub on them.

Thank you for reading my 10 tips! Do share with me what are your favorite techniques to influence others to help you in the comments, cheers!

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