Have you ever needed help on a project to beat a deadline, and found it difficult if not impossible to find a willing volunteer? Oftentimes, people don’t like to get involved because of a variety of reasons, from perceived conflicts to personal obligations. There can be a gray area where colleagues may want to help, but they immediately shy away for unknown reasons. When this happens, it falls back on your shoulders to get the job done – a very stressful experience.
Maybe it’s not so much what you are asking people to do for you, but rather how you are asking them? Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age clearly illustrates tips for gaining cooperation from others by “arousing an eager want”. Essentially, the task is to get others to create their own motivation to want to help you out.
Watch this very brief video on this technique, and then read below to learn more.
Did you notice the difference between the first time the speaker asked for help, and the second time around? How did this illustration make you feel or react? If you are like most people, you are likely to have a more positive reaction to the second request for help. Here’s why:
Personalizing the request for help automatically puts the decision on the listener to think deeper about the reasons why he or she should say “yes” to the request. In other words, it’s adding a personal level to the question, giving the listener a chance to personally relate to the reasons why cooperation is beneficial.
What’s in it for me? The second time around, the speaker made sure to validate the listener’s desires to tap into the principle of personal motivation. Instead of experiencing a negative or nagging request, the listener hears that his or her needs are important. The request for help then becomes vital to reaching whatever personal goal exists.
Try it and see how it works for you the next time you need help with a project at work, no matter how big or small that request is. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that by arousing an eager want in others they are more likely to cooperate and participate.
For more tips on interpersonal communications and engagement, be sure to visit Dale Carnegie Institute today!