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Have you noticed that when someone is acting like a jerk, you are likely to point out that behavior to her by your words or tone of voice?

And then she goes out of her way to prove it to you some more? Why? Because our biggest gut instinct is for survival. That primitive, instinctual reaction causes us to escalate in situations in which we are unhappy, or to withdraw and complain to others.

More negotiations break down over ego differences than over content differences.

Ironically, the person who has the most to teach you right now is the person you perceive to be the biggest jerk in your life. Understanding how you can have more positively powerful reactions to their difficult behavior will give you greater options around that person and others who also prove difficult. Consider that jerk your boot camp, from which you can graduate to living a less stressful and more satisfying life.

Don’t let somebody else determine your behavior. The sweetest revenge is a well-lived life.

Burning or building bridges

The sign of a positively powerful person is that she can often turn a situation around and bring out the jerk’s good side, even deepening the relationship in the process.

When you act to let someone self-correct and save face, instead of withdrawing to complain or escalating in defense and telling them to change, you can deepen that person’s trust and her loyalty to you. You can build unlikely allies and friends.

Unless someone feels safe with you, they will literally not be able to hear you, let alone respond. Get along by reading the other person’s  “operational manual” 
What causes people to like you and agree with you?

The two main predictors of someone’s behavior toward you are:

1. Their operating manual, which they are constantly showing you by their strongest reactions to others.

2. The manner in which they characterize the good and bad behaviors of others.

Learn where they put their most intense energy, attention and conversation: Their hot buttons or blind spots (what makes them angry or afraid), their points of pride (what makes them happy or confident).

You will find it more difficult to recognize these two areas in people for whom you already have strong negative or positive feelings. It’s easier to determine the areas in people you know less well or feel less strongly about. You can build a connection with someone when you either help them through times that bring up their hot buttons, or align with one of the parts of themselves they most like.

When someone feels good about himself when he is around you, he will instinctively see in you the qualities he most admires in others, some of which you may never demonstrate that you actually have.

He may also give you credit for things in which you’ve played only a minor role. He may go out of his way to help you, even putting your needs and interests ahead of his own.

If, on the other hand, he does not like the way he acts when he is around you, he will blame you for it, more than he is consciously aware.

He will see in you some of the qualities he does not like in others. He may not give you credit for your accomplishments.

He may instinctively undermine your work, even when such sabotage will also hurt him.

Here are tips to building genuinely good will and enduring relationships: Make them shine.

If people don’t like the way they are when they are around you, they will blame you for it, and not be aware they are doing so. They will sabotage projects on which you’re working, even to their own detriment. They will fail to give you credit and see qualities in you they don’t like in other people.

On the other hand, if people like the way they are when they are around you, they will see in you the qualities they like in other people (even if you don’t demonstrate you have them), give you generous credit, and go out of their way to help you.

Give up front. 
To show your commitment to reaching agreement, offer something up front, unasked.

Demonstrate consistent, visible good will

As a daily habit to all, not just to important contacts, remember people form first impressions in the first seven to twenty seconds, which take a significant emotional event to change.
You ask people to change. We may want to yet we instinctively don’t like to change even if we say we do..

People are most likely to change when:

  • You are able to demonstrate how your request is an extension of their values, self-image, or prior actions.
  • Or they may change when others they respect have already done something similar, not when you are asking them to do something new.

Ask the best question in the world

What’s the single most effective question you can ask?

Men: Whenever you ask any woman (co-worker, family member, vendor) this question, you will bring out her better side, and make life happier for you! Keep reading.

Deepen their commitment before you ask for support or a sale. The more time a person has spent on a project, prospective purchase, sale, or relationship, the less likely they are to withdraw.

Further, the more actions people take on behalf of a belief, the more intensely they will believe it.

To make your customers more articulate, loyal advocates who are more likely to praise your product to others, try these steps:

Ask what they like best about your product or service. As they answer, be a complete listener who leans into the conversation with full eye attention. Then thank them for their views and ask if you can share their thoughts with your co-workers to further improve your product. Could they write down their views in just a sentence or two?
Each step deepens their belief and helps them hone their argument. People are always more inclined to buy for their reasons, not yours. You’ve just helped them be more aware and committed to their reasons, thus more likely to suggest that others also buy.

Best all-round question you can ask to show respect: Can you tell me more about that?

Ask this versatile question when you want to strengthen, not fray a relationship. Use it in situations where you:

• Are spitting mad and need to cool down.

• Have a blank mind and want to re-group.

• Want to make that person more committed to what you two are discussing.

Discover more ways to accomplish greater things with others at the blogs:

How We Partner

Moving From Me to We

Say it Better

moving from me to we


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