Handling People Well

Roald Kvam 2022

As a human being – as well as a colleague or leader – we should handle our fellow human beings well. That’s easier said than done. I know. So let us focus on three practices. 

Don’t condemn  

The psychologist B.F. Skinner proved that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much faster and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior.

Further studies have shown that this same principle applies to humans as well: Criticizing folks – instead of cultivating facts – does not yield anything positive.

We aren’t able to make real changes by condemning people, and we’re instead often met with resentment. It’s important to remember that when dealing with people, we’re dealing with emotions as well as logic. Honestly, we all have this pride and ego drive within. And criticism triggers these to defend or attack mode. Result? Well, we stop the conversation and strive to justify ourselves instead.

When you find yourself getting caught up in other people’s habits or behaviors, think of a few reasons they might be acting the way they are. Or better: See them through the lince of the DISC-tool. This tool will help you to see their strengths instead of – for you – annoying behaviors. 

Do appreciate   

The shortest way to get a person to do anything is giving them what they want. What do most people want? Oh, a lot of different things I guess. But regardless of who or what og where we are in the world, there is one longing, almost as ingrained as the desire for food or sleep – and strangely seldom gratified: The desire to be appreciated. 

When appreciated I am. I am not one in a million. I am seen. I get my colors on. I am visible. I matter. 

We tend to take the people in our lives for granted, don’t we? At least I do. Don’t flatter – produce words by your tongue. Do appreciate – provide words from your heart.

If we start thinking about other people’s strengths, we could offer fruitful feedback.  

Appreciation is such a powerful tool! Listen: With words of appreciation, you have the power to completely change another person’s perception of themselves, improve their motivation, and be a driving force behind their steps towards their goals. 

I was aiming for a tone of aspiration, but I have to admit that I feel sad thinking about it: When we have nothing to lose and only positive outcomes to gain – why don’t we offer genuine appreciation more often? Are we that locked up in our own ego that others’ success is a threat? Let us break such behavior. Let us appreciate at least three times today!

Do respect

Respect comes from latin re-spect = again-see. Meaning: take a look – and take another look. Do it – and do it again. The goal is to see to that you truly understand the other person, and his or her needs.

My favorite dessert is Creme Brulee. Now, if I were to go fishing, I would not bait my hook with Creme Brulee? Of course not. That’s what I like. The fish prefer worms.  

Lloyd George, Great Britain’s Prime Minister during World War I, who stayed in power long after the other wartime leaders had been forgotten, was asked how he managed to remain on top. His response: He had learned that it is necessary to “bait the hook to suit the fish.”  

In other words, do re-spect. See to that you give people what they want, not what you want.

A key to handling people well is to frame your message in terms of what motivates them or correspond to their preferred learning and behavior style. And in order to do that, we have to be able to see things from their point of view as well as our own. I recommend the DISC tool to increase our relational capacity and the ability to re-spect efficient.  

We are not salespeople selling without seeing things from the customer’s angle. We are fellow human beings interacting step by step towards our goals. Let’s aim for the win-win-talks based on, yes: RE SPECT. 

«The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage. He has little competition.» (D. Carnegie).

Next time you want someone to do something, before you speak, pause and ask yourself: What if we both got a win down this road? How can I find and frame my request in terms of the other person’s wants? My answer and goal would be this: Do re-spect. And craft the call to action about them and their needs, before the both of us, and finally me and my needs. 

Finally, let me tell you a secret: These three practices are keys to your progress – both personally and bussineswise. Handling people well is not the shortest road to your goal. True! But it may be the fastest…

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Source and Inspiration: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (D. Carnegie)

Publisert av dreieskivaroaldkvam

Coaching, Advisory & Strategic Thinking

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