I re-read the book "Get anyone to do anything and never feel powerless again" today. It’s better then the title sounds.
I re-read it because everyone at work is so stressed out they have, almost to a man, taken up new passions and taken them to a fault. I can’t put my finger on why everyone is so stressed out, and it took me a long time to figure out what was going on.
I read this book because my co-workers have become very hard to get along with and they all seem to have lost respect for me.
There are really just six "tricks" to getting people to do what you want.
1) Get them to like you and ask for favors.
Getting people to like you is not as hard as it might seem. I’ll explain at the end of this blog entry.
As for asking for favors, it makes people feel good to do favors for others. If you do favors for them, they may think your nice buy but it doesn’t make them like you. By asking for small favors they associate you with good feelings and they have started do as you ask.
2) Limit their chooses.
Not in a bad way. Just don’t ask questions like "What do you want for dinner?" Instead ask "Would you like chicken or fish".
3) Give deadlines and start small.
Work expands to … and people tend to be steady state. If you can get them to do a small part of the job first, its easer to get them to start the big part.
4) Expect the action you desire.
Don’t say please. Tell them what you expect and act on your expectations. If you want someone to follow you, tell them and walk off.
5) Make the job sound simple.
People think about things the like as simple and they tend to complicate things they don’t like. When you think about paying your bills, do your think sign check and mail (simple), or do you think of finding check book, gather all the bills, decide which ones should be paided first, buy stamps, balance your check book…
Back to my coworkers.
It took me a while to figure out they where all under stress. It was my supervisor who made me figure it out. He has started cycling. Not just around the lake on weekends, he is spending his vacation time to go on long distance trips to ride in 200 miles rides. I did this my self fifteen years ago when I was stressed out about work. I talk about it as my mid life crises times.
People also "draw in" under stress. By this I mean they start to "pulling things into shape" and "balance the books". They try to figure out what is going wrong in their life.
The funny thing about this is "Putting things in shape" and "balancing the books" is exactly what everyone at work is doing. Half the staff is on a diet and half are all participating in Dave Ramsey’s Finical Peace.
Here is the part about getting people to like you.
BE LIKE THEM!!! Start talking like them, start looking like them, start doing the things they do.
When people get stressed they start to herd. They form packs. They start to look, act and sound like each other. Thus they start to like each other more. This is why people often bond after a disaster. They also start to draw lines between US and THEM.
This is where my problem starts. If "we" are on a diet, running and balancing our checkbooks, "they" are fat, not going to the gym, and spending what they want. And we all poke fun at them.
The other morning when I came to work everone was in a group joking about fat people and describing their pet names for types of fat roles.
I understand all of this having been through it all my self just fifteen years ago. I rode my bike so much, for so long, I lost more then 80 pounds. And it felt great! When I was doing all my stress releaving things, I too talked about people who eat quarter ponders because it made me feel better about my self. I was "doing something to change my life".
But there is a trap here. I also broke my face climbing, shattered my collarbone biking and gave my self arthritis in the knees and ankles. Its now hard lift weights, cycle, and go on long backpack trips. All things I love. (put link to pictures here.)
I have tried to convey to the guy about these problems but I don’t think I have done a good job. I’ve try to say "don’t worry, be happy" but instead I have become their joking example of what not to do.
I’ll admit to being somewhat rebellious. I don’t like following the crowd and I know this has not helped. Some people like this about me. I can now see now this has not been the right thing to do at this time. The message to me is "We are hearding" stop bucking the system.
I guess it’s time to cut my hair, (the burr is in stile) knock off a few pounds (this is going to be really hard because I have a bad thyroid condision and about 150 ponds would be good), and find a sport again. (I wonder if the guys would call walking a sport?)
POSTSCRIP: It has been five months now without a comment from anyone.