I’ve read tons of books that tell you how to get people to do things for you. Some books are about wise leadership principles. Others are about manipulation.
In fact, did you know that if you want someone to choose your preferred option between two options, you can change the way your phrase your question? By changing the way you phrase a “this or that” question, you can put your idea into their head. For instance, let’s say you want someone to wash the dishes. You ask it like this: “Would you like me to wash the dishes, or…?”
By leaving the option you want them to choose blank, it requires them to think the thought. It’s basically inception through dialogue. How delightfully manipulative, eh?
Just so you know, that technique doesn’t always work. And frankly, trying it makes me feel like a jerk. I don’t want to have to manipulate people to get what I want.
I’ve found there’s something much better—a leadership principle you won’t read in the books. And that principle isn’t even something that can be taught. It has to be a deep part of who you are.
That principle is loving others. It’s caring about them at least as much as yourself.
It means you think about what’s in it for them to help you? And if there’s nothing in it for them, you make it something that will benefit them. That means offering them help in their project. Or giving them authority in the situation. Giving them something you believe in strongly and truly needing their help.
People want to feel needed. They want to have authority. They want help themselves. And giving that to them is one of the best incentives for someone to help you.
That seems like a principle that can be taught, right? Unfortunately, if you don’t do this with genuine love and care, it just becomes quid pro quo. It becomes a transaction that breaks down as soon as you have nothing to offer.
Fortunately, there’s always enough love to go around. But you have to build on that foundation.
Otherwise it’s just nice leadership sentiments and manipulation.