Let’s face it, we humans are greedy. We always want more, and the neurotic nature of our species has kept us ahead of all the others. Personally I think this is OK, because if we were not like this, then we would more than likely be happy, but would be relegated to somewhere in the bottom half of the food chain; something more akin to a hedgehog. Those fellas look happy don’t they, with their little spikes and all. Anyway, as I was saying, let’s embrace our perfection-seeking-self-centred-nature, and use some interesting techniques, which may give you an advantage over others in the work related arena.
Stick your tongue out
This may sound a bit strange upon the initial reading of this statement, but rest assured the men in the white coats are never wrong. Many years ago researchers (by researchers I mean NLP practitioners, cold readers, and con men) discovered that in an occupational, educational, and examination setting, people in a position of power are less likely to approach someone who looks like they are working whilst sticking their tongue out. This knowledge can obviously be used in the office if you wish to appear busy at work, and will simultaneously act as a boss deterrent. So yeah, stick your tongue out and keep away that annoying boss.
Speak in the present tense
If you really listen to the way people speak, you can tell a lot about them. The content is not of huge consequence. Most of us know what type of conversation transpires with a particular co-worker depending on their relationship to you, their age, ethnicity, job title etc… (For example, you will probably not discuss your night of debauchery with your boss, but will certainly discuss it with Johnny from the mail room). With this in mind, it is best to speak in the present tense with people you wish to impress. People who constantly speak of themselves in the past and future tense may come across with less impact. For example, your boss wants to know what you are doing now, and does not really care about what you did in the past. Obviously the future is of more concern than the past to him/her, but it is your actions in the present that will make the future projections come true. This is a tried and tested tactic employed (usually unconsciously) by executive management and generally people in power. The next time one of “the suits” is around, sit back and listen, and you’ll get what I mean.
Use their name…a lot
This is one of the oldest tricks in the sales book. By using a persons name a lot in a conversation gives you an advantageous start. It suggests you know the person a lot more than you actually do. It will also make them feel more comfortable in your presence and will allow for a less formal discussion. In my old job as a salesman, this was one of the first things our slick trainers taught us. When watching some of my old colleagues interact with potential clients, it almost looked like it was two friends speaking. Obviously this should be used intermittently during sentences, because if you say the persons name at the start of each sentence, you will just appear ridiculous, and we don’t want that, do we?
Don’t e-mail it, post it
One of my colleagues told me about this one, and he tells me that he has been getting great success from it. If he wants a co-worker to do a task, report, figures etc…quickly, rather than sending that person an e-mail, he physically goes to their desk, and if they are not there, he will leave a “personalized Post-It.” He will address the person informally, and politely ask him/her to complete the particular task. He then writes a short thank you, and signs it off. He claims that this has halved his turn around time for tasks that need completion. The more personal nature of the post it may give the person that extra nudge needed to get the errand done quickly. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I will on Monday, and hopefully that as*hole from accounts will sort my overdue overtime once and for all.
This is a guest post from Chris O’Hara.