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Increasing your leverage

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

By applying the right kind of leverage in the right places in your dealings with others, you can boost your suc­cess rate. Try the following tips:

Help everyone get along. Instead of concentrating solely on the objec­tive needs of a group—whether for pencils or heavy-duty bulldoz­ers—focus more of your energy on facilitating the group process. Help them clarify objectives, establish roles and get to know each other's skills and personalities. Once they're working together smoothly, they'll be capable of obtaining any bulldozers they need on their own.

Eliminate perceived threats. People who give you problems are often motivated by a deep-seated desire to remove some threat they think you represent. They really are trying to be difficult (often unknow­ingly) because it's proven to be a good way to fend off people and activities they fear. Cooperate with these people in removing whatever is pushing their buttons. Once the threat is gone, they'll behave more cooperatively.

Outweigh negatives with posi­tives. A party can be interrupted by a problem, but a problem can't easily be interrupted by a party. To resolve negative situations—situations riddled with conflict, miscommunication or people working at cross-purposes—you'll need to find positive things to say and do. Provide frequent feed­back, recognition, reassurance, guid­ance and support—again and again, over a long period of time.

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