Jackie Kellso

Posts Tagged ‘gaining cooperation’

Give People Options and They’ll Agree to the Rules

In autonomy, business relationships, career challenges, delegation, employee engagement, empowerment, gaining cooperation at work, game show psychology, leadership, managing, people skills, professional boundaries, rules of play, sales, selling, selling techniques, talent development, Uncategorized, working relationships on March 5, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Think of the most successful game shows and why people want to play: it’s the fate placed in their own hands to impact the outcome. Take “Let’s Make a Deal” for example. People can only choose from three doors, and have to take whatever’s behind that door – placing their luck in their own hands. In “Wheel of Fortune” they spin that wheel and have to live with whatever that spoke offers. “Jeopardy” gives people the opportunity to pick their own subjects, yet they still have to follow the rules of asking the right questions. This is the strategy of getting people to willingly follow rules: give them options and autonomy and empower them to have a hand in their own destiny. The mind then focuses less on the restrictions and more on the pleasure of choosing for oneself.

This crossed my mind the other day when thinking about helping a client become better in the art of delegation. This vice-president was sharing her failure to gain cooperation and complained that she mostly receives push-back or non-compliance. I asked her how she went about asking people to follow her lead. Her way was something like, “Hey, I need you to do this. It’s due by 5pm.”

The truth is that individual contributors may realize their jobs require them to execute management’s agenda, but they may rebel when orders are barked at them and they have no say about the task. So she and I worked out a way for her to become more effective, which was to present options and give her team latitude (and some control) over the project, while still holding them accountable for the assignment.

After this interaction, it occurred to me that this issue isn’t limited to delegation. The best sellers know that to influence a decision and close a deal; they offer their prospects options to choose from with varied costs and value-adds. Buyers feel empowered when they perceive to be in control of the seller relationship. So the seller provides options that are adventageous to both parties, with set boundaries and restrictions, but sellers know that to have a successful outcome, it’s the buyer who is given the power to choose from a selection of options.

So, for those of us who must delegate or close deals or get people to collaborate/cooperate here is what creating options sounds like. Examples:

Delegation. Start with the rule: “Sara, this project is due tomorrow at 5pm.” Provide the options: “Between 9a-4p, when do you think you can get this to me?”

Closing a deal. Start with the rule: “We have three packages that will fulfill your objectives, scaled by investment levels. In order to launch this on time, please provide us with your choice by Monday.” Provide the options: “Option 1 will cost X and deliver Y. Option 2…etc… Option 3…etc. Which one would should we go with?”

Gaining cooperation. Start with the rule: “Today the team will be divided up into 3 groups, each with a different task. These are to be handed in by COB Friday.” Provide options: “Based on these deliverables, on a first come-first served basis, please select the task you’d like to work on.”

Autonomy is one of the most important needs that people have in life. Ensuring that your teams are not stripped of this essential human right – even when rules are in play – is a critical factor in creating a cooperative and healthy work environment.

Cheering you on!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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