“Appreciate that not everyone likes to achieve and move towards goals. Some would rather avoid pain far more than to gain pleasure”
Let’s take a look at this. All human behaviour is centred around gaining pleasure or avoiding pain! You go out for a nice meal with friends to gain pleasure. You run away from a poisonous snake to avoid pain!
Someone goes to the gym to work out because they want to look fabulous, have a fit body and feel more attractive. Others may go to the gym because they don’t want to look fat, ugly and feel out of place in society.
Notice that some people go to the gym because “they want to have…” and others go to the gym because “they don’t want to have…” This is interesting worth noting.
By the way, not everyone acts in the same way here as everyone moves toward some things and away from others. But overall everyone has a dominant preference. So, looking at this then – some people like to move towards things and others like to move away from things. How do you know who is which?
Well, this is easily done by listening out to the way that they respond. When you ask people what they want in a job, this project, their relationships and so on, do they tell you what they want or what they don’t want?
Listen to everyday conversations. Are people moving towards things:
- “I want to achieve a 234% increase in sales next month”
- “I want us to dominate the widgets market”
- “We are going to make this happen so we look the best team in the department.
Or are people moving away from things:
- “We need to increase sales because I don’t want our department to be bottom of the league tables”
- “If we do not dominate our market XYZ competitor will overtake us and I do not want that to happen”
- “If we do not improve we are going to look the worst team in the department”
Can you see the differences? They are all stating the same thing but in a different way? Which ones would you be more motivated to achieve?
Think about this….it is really important how you communicate to people. Here are a couple of times where this can be very useful:
Are you trying to “achieve” all of the time with everyone or are you modifying your approach with different people depending on how they think?
Stress to “towards” people what they will get out of a situation and they will be motivated. Do this to “away from” people and you are wasting your time.
You need to be flexible and change your approach. I am sure that you “Just can’t seem to get through to some people“. Well, the first thing you should look at is whether you are moving them towards something when they want to move away from, or vice versa.
If you are selling an idea you can promote it by what it does or what it doesn’t do. You can try to sell a motorbike by explaining that it is fast, cool and hip and trendy or you can stress that it does not use much petrol, has low insurance premiums and will not break down on you.
The approach that you would use depends on the person. Think about this when you need to influence or sell something.
So, start to notice your bias for toward or away from language, as well as those in your team.