Working with Others

If you put working with self and others in a pie chart, it looks like πŸ‘‡

Though working with self is winning 80% of the battle, working with others is the Pareto of your success.

Here are some big ideas that helped me enhance my influence (aka working with others) from a human nature perspective:

  1. Typically your locus of control is small and your locus of influence is huge. Working with self is totally with in your locus of control and is easy to solve whereas working with others is outside your locus and hence it is the hardest one to solve.
  2. Working with self, when done well gives enormous empathy towards working with others. It helps you to recognise and respect the limitations of the human in the other person, diverse backgrounds and perspectives dictated by their experiences/exposure/environment. When you get more empathetic, you get more flexible in understanding other's point of views.
  3. Recognizing that we cannot read others' minds is crucial. This understanding encourages us to express your thoughts clearly, which is often appreciated by others. It also allows us to re-examine and discuss our assumptions and judgments openly and authentically with the concerned person. We usually shy away from expressing and discussing how we feel, things we understood etc.
  4. One definition that exponentially changed my working with others is when I understood communication is about the listener and not about the communicator. If they don't understand what you expressed fully, it is your responsibility and not theirs. This helped me change my communication methods for better. When you place the listener is at the heart of communication, you tend to communicate better.
  5. It is human to "listen to respond". By just changing it to "listen to understand" can make your active listening far more effective.
  6. Understanding the needs/wants/desires of the other person can help you leverage the collaboration better.
  7. Human beings love to be seen, heard and appreciated. Genuinely appreciating and acknowledging the contributions of a person/group of people boosts the morale and thickens the bond.
  8. People open up more in a safe space. Creating and maintaining a safe space fosters collaboration and creative brainstorming. Safe space enhances the trust.
  9. We are control freaks but we also love autonomy and empowerment. While working with others, hold the other person accountable and allow them to take risks, make mistakes and try things. Accountability keeps things in check and empowerment helps with the creativity and risk taking abilities.
  10. Trust and loyalty must be earned. It is hard work. The best way to start building trust is putting in the first step followed by continuous, consistent and reliable actions. Express trust in words. It helps the other person understand. Slowly trust gets built. After 100 steps or 1000 steps or 10000 steps, evidence starts showing that there is trust in the relationship. Remember, trust can be shattered in seconds, even though it takes a long time to build.
  11. Creative tension and conflicts are natural to human beings. Managing conflicts constructively helps in building problem solving cultures.
  12. Environment shapes us. Before judging the person, look into the environment/system the other person comes from. It helps you empathise their thought process.
  13. We usually shy away from expressing the value we bring to the table, the value we are building together, the value we will reap when done well. It helps in expressing value as we cherish scarcity. Pinpoint and highlight rare and valuable aspects of your work.
  14. Authority can influence as titles, uniforms, and status can significantly impact people's willingness to comply. Your expertise and credibility can help you gain authority and influence.
  15. Kindness, compassion, and allocating time to discuss details can make you more likeable and influential.
  16. As a herd, we look for herd's opinion about things. When there is social proof aka peer influence, people get influenced.
  17. Consistency and certainty are liked by people. Hence change is hard. When people see you being consistent with your ideas/actions/stance they get influenced. Watch for it as consistency breeds rigidity as well. Be ok to change your stance with reason. People buy change when the rational/reason is explained.
  18. Give first. Usually people feel obliged to return favors or do something of value in return.
  19. Influence happens in stages. It starts way before the message/action is done. Psychology calls it as priming. Priming shapes how people perceive and respond when the message hits them.
  20. Spend more time and set context to the message by laying the groundwork. The context helps landing the message better. Shape the environment before landing the message.
  21. When you give a message is more important than what you say in the message. Context is everything.
  22. Frame the message for influence. Take time and prepare by analysing multiple frames.
  23. Show abundance/homework before delivering the crux of the message. Trust gets built when enough work is put in.
  24. Present the message visually and in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Take extra effort to craft the visuals. As visual beings we appreciate the visual way of representation.
  25. Strong relationships and genuine connections are the basis of great influence. Usually good relationships lead to mutual trust and respect over a period of time.
  26. Great networks and high visibility enhances your influence. The more people know you and respect you, naturally your influence increases.
  27. Your actions speak louder than words. People around you watch you carefully. They look into how you behave in different situations. Inconsistency in behaviours reduce trust.
  28. When you understand and manage your emotions well in complex situations people trust your ability to handle complexity. When you handle tough situations with empathy, you gain respect.
  29. Saying I don't know and being willing to adapt and change is seen as a super power as very few have the courage to say I don't know for the fear of judgement.
  30. When you speak, the other person hears 7% of what you say and judges 93% of how (tonality/body language/gravitas/presence etc) you said it.
  31. Building consensus and listening to every contributor for decision making helps in building a collaborative organisation.
  32. Ability to present ideas in a compelling manner helps influence better.
  33. Our negativity bias as human beings is 1:9, which means we remember negative experiences 9 times more than positive experience. When working with others, understand what negative experiences hurt them the most and try and not rekindle the same.
  34. Human beings remember the peak and end well. How you leave a relationship or finish an assignment is more important than how you started.

πŸ₯‚ to influence!

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