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Real World Psychology “Tricks” for the Workplace


Robby

Midwesterners are known for their pleasant attitude and friendly demeanor. Here in Indiana—where people are referred to using the folksy term “hoosiers”—you might expect workplace conversations to always be straightforward.

But that isn’t always the case. Here are some “tricks” for influencing behavior.

Thinking
© Flickr User Creative Ignition

Be Silent to Hear Volumes

Here’s an amazing quirk of human behavior. People can’t stand silence. If you just shut up during a conversation, there’s a good chance the other person will start talking and tell you what’s on their mind.

This great for negotiations, but also in cases where you know there’s a piece of information you don’t have. Ask a question, and give people space to speak. And when they seem to come to a natural end to a response, just stay silent. Chances are good they will keep talking.

Use the “Walk Away” Technique

Suppose another person comes into your office or cubicle to ask a question. Instead of answering them while sitting there, stand up and start walking while you’re talking.

If they want to continue the conversation, they will have to follow you. So walk over to their office, and once you finish, they are right where they are supposed to be! This is a great way to have brief conversations. It’s also a way to subtly train people that if they have a non-urgent question, they should just send an email.

Try the “Door-in-the-face” Technique

Imagine you ask a stranger for a really big favor. They are probably going to respond with exactly what this approach implies—slamming a door in your face. But then follow up with a smaller favor, and they are more likely to say yes than they would have been in the first place.

This is a well-documented phenomenon. Researchers don’t agree on exactly why it works, but the experiments show that it is definitely successful.

Magic Trick
© Flickr User Dani_vr

You have to decide for yourself if you’re willing to use any of these tricks on people in your life. But even if you won’t use them, be aware. Perhaps others are using them on you.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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