Saturday, December 7, 2013

Managing People


If you want to be more effective with people you must understand that substantial increases in effectiveness have substantial costs and risks. Those cost 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.


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 it 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; authority is not power.

If we want to influence others we must spend more time thinking through our words and gestures, out 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.

RATIONALIZATION – The First Obstacle to Effectiveness

We have learned how to find reasons for failure and lie to ourselves by blaming others. In doing so we have reduced our effectiveness. Time spent in rationalizing is time not spent influencing others. Rationalization is warm and comfortable. Our lack of substantial effectiveness in influencing people is less a function of our failed attempts that it is a function of our failure to try or persist. To try to influence or to persist in the face of rejection is to risk failure. To rationalize is to enjoy the comfort, ease, security, and support of a well know place.


“Never expect anyone to engage in a behavior that serves your values unless you give that person adequate reason to do so!

It is installed by repetition.

PERCEPTIONThe Place Influence Resides

People have multiple values, many unrelated to money, and as long as they see that those values will be served in an acceptable way in exchange for the behavior you want, you can get anyone to do anything you want. What you want someone to do is irrelevant to his or her decision. What is critical is that person’s perception of the relationship between what you want that person to do and that person’s values. This is the necessary connection within that person’s head. This is the personal, subjective, fragile, and malleable state that controls behavior.


  “One hundred percent of the effectiveness of any idea is the function of its implementation”.

The implementation of any idea determines how it will be perceived, and how it is perceived by those who must cooperate with it determines its effectiveness. It is not the idea that determines success – it is the implementation of the idea!


Most of the effective techniques for human influence require you to make the first move and 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 changes 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 powerful. NO other route may be possible.


People who you are trying to influence process the data of your attempt to influence them in terms of their:
  • Capability
  • Competence (knowledge and skill)
  • Confidence (can I do it?) • Perception of Value
  • Perception of Probability of Value
  • Perception of Cost
  • Perception of Risk 

P.S.:   These procedures are essential for managing people and  business success.

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