Friday, August 26, 2016

People are people

I just got back from a team summit with my company in Canada. Besides eating a shit ton of delicious asian food (ramen, korean bbq) and hearing what my coworkers thought I would look like after 4yrs of phone conversations (pasty, short, pants hiked to my nips, beardless, and a surfer bro), I got an opportunity to learn and reinforce some soft skills from the head honcho in HR.
Here are a few things that stuck with me...

1. Maslow ' s Hierchy of Needs when applied to stress
I'm not going to pretend I understand the full extend of Maslow ' s hierarchy of needs. In short, Maslow built a construct that tries to understand what motivates people (diagram from wiki is below).

Each need on the pyramid (starting at the base) must be satisfied before the subsequent needs further up the pyramid are something obtainable. The takeaway from my summit was that people tend to fall further and further down the pyramid the more stressed they are.

Professionally, I need to work on my approach to handling client problems with this in mind rather than moving them forward on my agenda.

2. Influencing people to do what you want by mother fucking inception

This topic is unrelated to the previous two (2), but nonetheless was impressive. Our presenter demanded attention in a way I've never seen before. She never once raised her voice or told us to do something. She was personable while also being professional. Most impressive, she displayed a skill (it was discussed during our seminar, but put into action on accident) that I would like to practice. Mother fucking inception, or getting someone to do something you want by making them believe it was their idea.

One of our team leads was standing and taking a call while our presenter talked. It wasn't distracting, but it was very noticeable. Instead of telling him to sit down, she asked him (with genuine concern) if he would be more comfortable if he sat down.

Holy shit. Everyone at the table is very sharp and took immediate notice to what she did (a good laugh was had Har Har Har). Without calling rank or imposing her will, she had created a situation where she was telling someone else what she wanted. If he accepted, he lost no face or pride. If he rejected, she would have continued on without skipping a beat. He had not rejected a demand, so she would have not lost anything in the process. If he got upset, he would look like a douchebag and have lost face in front of his team. It was literally one sentence that told a story, and I loved it. More than anything, I want to practice this for myself. How can I create a win win situation for both parties and still get what I want?