Rather than asking for a favor how can you offer obvious ways that others can benefit by responding to what you specifically suggest? To prime the pump of your “us-oriented” approach to life, here are five,real-life examples of successful and satisfying ways that others have generated more value, visibility and support, with and for others:
1. Prove You Really Do Value Your Team
U2 lead singer Bono’s explicit, continuing actions conclusively prove to his band members how highly he values them, as Michael Lee Stallard cites here:
Even though, as the megastar that started U2, Bono could take the lion’s share of the profits he splits them equally among the four band members and their manager, thus proving his commitment to “us.” Further, “Bono has stated that when one of the band members is in need, the band rallies around to support him and they put that need above the performance of the band. When Edge went through a difficult divorce, the band members were there to support him. When Adam Clayton became addicted to alcohol and drugs, the band members were there to help him recover.” Also, Bono consistently values and praises the talents and character of his band mates. He said that, “although he hears melodies in his head, he is unable to transfer them into written music. Because he considers himself a ‘lousy guitar player and an even lousier piano player,’ he relies on his fellow band members and recognizes that they are integral to his success.”
Hint: How specifically and consistently do you take actions and offer vivid praise to your teammates, committee members or co-workers and if you have none of these, then perhaps those two kinds of actions could attract and strengthen the tribe you want to create.
2. Craft a Book That Builds in Contributors’ Bragging Rights
Tim Ferriss discovered that he could learn and accomplish more if he became more adept at asking better questions. Out of that recognition he devised a first-ever format for his extremely popular book, Tribe of Mentors: asking 100 individuals he deeply admired to peruse his 11 smart questions and answer one or more, to be included in his book. Consequently he was able to tap into their strongest expertise and interest to get valuable answers that led to his book becoming a best seller. This book format also builds in bragging rights that spur contributors to cite his book (and their tips in it) with others. The book also provides the groundwork for Ferriss to further leverage his value and visibility – and that of those contributors by covering them in his podcast and his blog about the podcast. That, in turn, further motivates contributors (and their networks) to share the news they read or heard. Here’s how Ferriss recognized the power of smarter questions: “The older I get, the more time I spend — as a percentage of each day — on crafting better questions. In my experience, going from 1x to 10x, from 10x to 100x, and from 100x to (when Lady Luck really smiles) 1000x returns in various areas has been a product of better questions. John Dewey’s dictum that ‘a problem well put is half-solved’ applies.”
To further up the ante for people to buy the book, Ferriss notes, that “Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. Conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head, after all. If you want confusion and heartache, ask vague questions. If you want uncommon clarity and results, ask uncommonly clear questions. This book can train you to ask better questions.”
Hint: What way can you boost your learning, visibility and value to others by providing others with a relatively simple way to enable them to share their expertise in a way that will help others?
3. A Proven Way to Spur Participation
When you cite a perception of shared identity you motivate more people to participate discovered Dr. Robert Cialdini who was sufficiently motivated by the power of this method that he added it as the new major principle of influence to his long-standing roster of six in his newest book Pre-Suasion. For example, he discovered that family is the most potent as he found in with a classroom experiment. By offering just one small benefit (one point on one test) to students if their parents completed a survey, Cialdini was able to increase parents’ participation fivefold to nearly 100 percent.
Even familial language is persuasive. Cialdini cites Warren Buffet’s now-classic shareholder letter related to Berkshire Hathaway’s future. Rather than outlining the succession plan, he boosted support by saying, “I will tell you what I would say to my family today if they asked me about Berkshire’s future.” Unity can be based on other groups: ethnicity, geography, shared interests and many more. The more individuals relate to being a member of that group, the more powerful the unity effect.
Cialdini cites Warren Buffet’s now-classic shareholder letter dealing with the future of Berkshire Hathaway. Instead of simply describing the succession plan, Buffett made his missive more persuasive by saying, “I will tell you what I would say to my family today if they asked me about Berkshire’s future.”
Unity can be based on other groups: ethnicity, geography, shared interests and many more. The more an individual identifies as being a member of that group, the more powerful the unity effect will be. Furthermore whatever emotional adjective you use in a survey will sway respondents to focus on and respond to that feeling. For example, when religious cult recruiters asked, “Are you unhappy?” rather than, “Are you happy?” the framing of their question made respondents, “more likely to focus on those things in their life that are making them feel bad.
Hint: frame your questions, offers or request in positive emotional language
4. Enable Others to Take Smarter Actions About a Situation
Amanda Ripley, of Solutions Journalism, (with input from Andy Carvin and Thaler Pekar) suggests why and how journalists should cite more sides of a situation, a tip that all of us should adopt in our communication. Journalists tend to provide “narrow lens” elements (such as about “a welfare mother”) or “wider-lens” (such as “trends or systemic issues, “say the cause of poverty) in their coverage. According to Stanford political science professor Shanto Iyengar’s research, “people who watched the narrow-lens stories on the welfare mother were more likely to blame individuals for poverty afterwards — even if the story of the welfare mother was compassionately rendered. By contrast, people who saw the wider-lens stories were more likely to blame government and society for the problems of poverty. The wider the lens, the wider the blame, in other words.
In reality, most stories include both wide and narrow-lens moments; a feature on a welfare mother will still invariably include a few lines about the status of job-training programs or government spending. But as Iyengar showed in his book Is Anyone Responsible?, TV news segments are dominated by a narrow focus. As a result, TV news unintentionally lets politicians off the hook, Iyengar found.”
Hint: To enable those who hear, read or see your ideas, offer them both an specific example and a broader picture of the influences, trends and other elements so they can make smarter decisions about what changes would be best.
5. Do You Really Step Into the Shoes of Those You Seek to Serve?
In The Power of Moments, Dan and Chip Heath cite this story to show the traits of meaningful moments: “The GE employee, John Dietz, spent two years designing a new MRI machine, only to be emotionally saddened the first time he saw it used. The first patient, a little girl walked up to use it and was clearly frightened by what she saw. He realized that while he’d focus on crafting good technology he’d forgotten to consider how it would be experienced. He and his team then designed MRI spaces that were fun experiences for children, including—a Jungle Adventure room with a table that looked like a canoe that was floating through a jungle, in which children were told to hold still (vital for a good MRI) so as not to rock the boat. They also had a Pirate Island where the machine was painted to look like a pirate ship with a plank for the children to enter the MRI area. must walk to enter it. In San Francisco they designed a Cable Car Adventure room that also helped hospital staff give a fanciful explanation to children for why the machines are so noisy. Thus they created fun rather than fearful moments, proven, in part, the number of children needed to be sedated to stay still in the machines dropped from 80% to 27%. Their most anxious moment—entering the machine—was turned into an adventure, thus also enabling more MPIs to be done each day. Yet Dietz really knew his new machines were really successful when, as he was talking with the mother of a child who had just had an MRI, the little girl tugged at her Mother’s shirt, then asked: ‘Can we come back tomorrow?’ Dietz began to wept. He had transformed terror into delight.”
Hint: Thus the Heaths illustrated what they consider the” four elements in defining moments: elevation (they rise above the everyday), insight (they change our understanding of the world), pride (they are when we are at our best), and connection (they are social). Keep those traits in mind when you want to succeed with and for others in what you design, change and/or co-create with others.