How the best leaders win the cooperation of others (part 2)

Ever since the beginning of time, everyone has asked the same question. How do I get others to do what I want them to do?

All teachers, spouses, parents, team leaders, supervisors, and yes even you leaders ask that same question. What does it take to get the full and willing cooperation of others?

You Must Give Your People What They Need

Of course, you’ve discovered that different people in your various departments at work need different things. Someone needs an extra pat on the back for the extra effort they put into a project. Somebody else needs their ideas solicited and given proper attention at a staff meeting.

The same is true at home. To get your kids to cooperate with you, one kid might be motivated by the promise of an ice cream cone and another just wants a really good hug.

Nonetheless, after working with thousands of people in almost every sector of the economy, I’ve discovered that there is some unanimity amongst people’s needs. Do some of the following and you will get more of their cooperation and more of their motivation in return.

► 1. Show interest in the other person.

Jim Collins, the author of Built to Last and Good to Great, talked about that.

He said one day, early in his teaching career, a colleague sat him down, and said, “You spend too much time trying to be interesting. Why don’t you invest more time being interested?”

His colleague continued, “By practicing the art of being interested, the majority of people can become fascinating teachers. Nearly everyone has an interesting story to tell.”

Genuine interest leads to increased cooperation. As leadership development expert Dale Carnegie taught years ago, the more interest you show in others, the more interest they’ll take in you and your requests. They will give more of their full and willing cooperation.

► 2. Make the other person feel important.

I’m sure you’ve come across those annual surveys that list the “100 Best Companies” to work for in America. You may have even wished you were working in one of those organizations. Unfortunately, at the end of each of those listings, they always say, “Don’t bother to look for a job in any of these places because nobody in his right mind would ever leave them. There are simply no vacancies.”

Why is that? If you dig deeper into the leadership qualities and cultures of those best companies, if you look for their secret, you’ll read about a variety of things they do. But all of those things invariably make the people in those organizations feel important.

What are you doing to make your people feel important? How effective are your efforts in this area? What else do you need to do?

It could be as simple as remembering and using the names of people. Ted Nichols knew that secret to winning more cooperation. For years he worked out at the Skyline Fitness Center in the greater DC area. But he did more than work out. Ted learned the names of the people who worked behind the desk — because he believed that everyone, even the people behind the desk, were important.

The strange thing was, of the 4000 members of the fitness center, almost no one else bothered to learn the names of the desk people. They were too preoccupied with getting changed and working out.

But Ted took the time to learn the names of the desk people. He took the time to treat them with dignity and respect. To make them feel important. And when Ted wanted to be on the tennis courts — which were always crowded — Ted got to be on the tennis courts. The desk people made sure of that because they controlled the schedule.

Yes, making people feel important is extremely powerful. So I invite you to attend my next virtual Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience where you will learn how to be a peak performer with thriving relationships, on and off the job.

Laverne Perry, who works in Strategic Business Development at The Boeing Company, says, “Absolutely excellent!! I learned so much about myself, and I picked up the exact tools I needed to improve my personal and work relationships. What a great investment. It continues to pay big dividends.”

The only offering of the Journey this year will be October 3-4, 2024. Register now and you qualify for our SUPER EARLY-BIRD savings.

► 3. Keep your people fully informed.

Even though you probably have some employees who say they hate all those e-mails, voice mails, telephone calls, meetings, and newsletters, most employees have a strong need to be fully informed. In fact, it’s almost always a cooperation prerequisite.

In one Chamber of Commerce study, 10,000 surveyed employees ranked “being in on things” or “being fully informed” as the second strongest morale-building, engagement factor in the workplace.

How well are you doing with this particular leadership skill?

After studying the communication patterns in dozens of organizations, Professor Tamotsu Shibutani concluded,

“You had better keep your people informed, or they’ll make it up and it won’t be flattering.”

If you want an engaged workforce, you’ve got to communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more.

► 4. Show respect.

It’s a universal truth. You may think this strategy only applies to the younger generations in the workplace. After all, we keep hearing about how needy the younger generations are — asking for more recognition, more challenges, more autonomy, more communication, and more rewards. But a Baby Boomer in his 60’s put it this way in one of my workshops. He said, “We want the same things. We just felt we couldn’t ask.”

When your younger workers badger you for more respect and recognition, just remember all your employees crave the same thing. Their communication methods may differ, but their needs don’t. Employees want to be regarded first and foremost as people … not as an anonymous part of a generation (like just another Millennial, Gen X’er, etc.) or a function they perform.

And treating each employee as an individual is a great way to show your respect and engage their talents. But the reverse is also true. As venture capitalist Richard A. Moran so wisely put it,

“Treating people like numbers will prevent the company from meeting its numbers.”

Do you really have a positive attitude

If you’re like me, you know you’re “supposed” to have a positive attitude. After all, the research is overwhelming and indisputable. A positive attitude can make all the difference in the world. Dr. Martin Seligman, for example, discovered that attitude was a better predictor of success than any other factor, including I.Q., education, grade point average, race, age, gender, or anything …

Trust Is The Ultimate Competitive Advantage

The classic blockbuster movie, Ghost Busters, got us all chanting, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters.” It was a catchy line. Considering current events, today’s slogan for millions of people is, “Who you gonna trust?” The answer for many people is “Nobody.” It’s a scary answer. After all, about half of the American people don’t trust one or both of our Presidential candidates. And yet the very foundation of …