I have some good news, and some bad news. 

The good news is that you can get anyone you want to do what you want.  You can get your boss, your spouse, your employee to do whatever it is you want.  How is that for good news?

The bad news is that it costs.  It cost in time and energy.  There is no “Magic” in managing people. If you want to be more effective with people, you must understand that substantial increase in effectiveness have substantial costs and risks.  Those costs and risks are both subtle and ego threatening; but if you are willing to accept them, there is virtually no limit to your potential for human influence.  If you are not willing to accept them, then you must be content with your present level of influence because it will not increase.

Values are the Key.  People do not engage in behavior because it will be good for the organization or because it will serve your values.  They engage in a behavior only if that is the best behavior for them to engage in to take care of what is important to them.

Your challenge in influencing others is to show how what they perceive best serves their values.  These values include: self-esteem, acceptance, affiliation, friendship, security, freedom, autonomy, recognition, success, and fun.

Power is the ability to affect the allocation of resources.  Authority is an organizationally granted privilege to engage in certain behaviors and expect to be supported in those activities: e.g.: to hire, fire, make policy and direct procedures.  Power is not authority, and authority is not power.  If we want to influence others we must spend more time thinking through our words and gestures, our timing, and our approach. To do so might seem unnatural and forced.  (Behaviors that feel natural are merely behaviors we have repeated many times).  What seems reasonable may be reasonable only to us.  If we want to influence others we must take the time to find out what best serves their values and what is reasonable to them.  Most of the effective techniques for human influence require you to make the first move and to accept vulnerability to failure.

Effectiveness requires persistence through rejections and repeated failures.  To acquire such persistence we must overcome well-worn beliefs about failure and well-worn, emotional programs that have played thousands of times in our heads.  You must give up rationalizing, subject yourself to charges of unfairness, take on costly and risky behaviors, give up some long standing feel good behaviors, and overcome your deeply entrenched fear of failure in order to increase your effectiveness in managing people.  This is neither easy nor pleasant, but no other route is as powerful.  No other route may be possible.  People have multiple values, many unrelated to money, and as long as they see those values will be served in an accepted way in exchange for the behavior you want, you can get anyone to do anything you want.

Good Luck!

Donald N. Lombardi is an online product reviewer. Learn more on how you can improve your supervisory skills by visiting his website Leadership and Motivation In The Workplace He also has articles on his blog featuring business ideas that he has implemented, field tested, and proven successful with over a hundred small business clients. Download his blog here now Business Management.

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