Getting people on our side
Why is it that we get some people working with us and others seem to work against us; no matter what we do to try and get along with them or convince them to work with us? It can be at the minimum a frustration and in the worst cases stressful and career-threatening!
Well, people 'buy-in' to people they like, or at least respect. They feel they can agree with some people and have common ground, even if not friends. But, not everyone is going to like us or agree with us! However, successful people find a way to achieve a partnership or agreement, a way they can move forward and get along with almost everyone; if we just work with the ones we like or agree with us and ignore the others we are creating problems for the future.
The workplace is just like any other place and brings together a bunch of disparate and different people, with a jumble of different personalities/traits. The difference is we cannot just walk away from co-workers or staff we find difficult as we might do to people in the pub. Some of our co-workers will be easy to get on with and some, not so easy to work/get along with. Whether you are the supervisor or a co-worker, you should pay attention to getting on with everyone and in particular, those who you don't automatically get on with. Time spent now will be well spent and stop them from being difficult in the future. We need to get those people on our side, so we can cooperate in order to be productive and get the best out of them and ourselves. Here are ten top tips to get people on your side:
1. Don't assume - We have already established we are all different and we all like to be treated as individuals, so never assume you know how people feel or what they know; if in doubt, ask!
2. Stick to facts, not fiction - Don't listen to gossip or base decisions on past history, just work on the facts at the time and discuss how you see them.
3. Don't work for credit - Credit for doing something should not be the motivation. It will come if deserved/needed, and we all like it, but it should not be the reason for doing something.
4. Be open-minded - To ideas and people. Never make someone feel as if you will not listen to their suggestions or ideas, no matter how much you have an opinion, you can listen.
5. Listen properly - Listen to what is being said with an open mind and with your whole body. Body language is massively important in getting people to be with you, instead of against you. It convinces them you are open and approachable.
6. Manage your time effectively - Your ability to be on time; complete jobs in a timely manner will help you make a good impression with boss or co-workers. It also shows respect for others time and priorities and could leave you time to help others.
7. Remember resistance is natural - It is a human reaction to resist change and some people can't hide or are unable to deal with that feeling of change. If you change the way you are trying to work with somebody, at first they may be suspicious and it may take time and some explanation.
8. Be positive - Negative thinking works 100% of the time. If you believe you won't get on with somebody, your whole communication (including body language) will be different and they will wonder what's going on and you won't get on!
9. Be persuasive - Remember we are convinced by two key factors, reason or emotion. Be careful what you use and with who different personalities will respond to different methods and resist others and some will see it as manipulation.
10. Remember reciprocation (law of attraction) - You will be treated the way you treat others, in the long term; don't stop treating them the way you would like to be treated, just because initially they don't respond.
Following the key elements above can have a significant impact on how others see us and ultimately a positive impact on our behaviour.
Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development. You can read more about him here.