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Three Ways to be more Persuasive.....

Moving projects forward in today's flatter organizations, where cross-functionality is the norm, requires the ability to manage up, down, and sideways. Power and line authority go only so far.
That's where persuasion comes in, says Robert Cialdini, Regents' Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and coauthor with Noah J. Goldstein and Steve J. Martin of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive (Free Press, 2008).

Much as martial arts combatants overcome their opponents using leverage, inertia, and gravity rather than brute strength, you can persuade others by exploiting the principles of social influence. These include the feelings of obligation generated between two people when one does a favor for the other, the tendency to say yes to people we like, and the desire to act in ways that are consistent with our commitments and values.

Activate reciprocity : One good turn generates another. Any favors you do today are likely to be reciprocated down the road:

  • Championing a colleague's idea in a meeting when others are giving it only tepid support.
  • Sharing useful information with a coworker in another part of the company who otherwise wouldn't have received it.
  • Pitching in to help a teammate finish a presentation or prepare for it.

Don't be insincere and don't be cold-blooded; people will see through you and be on their guard. Just look for opportunities to be a good person. You won't just feel good; you'll create a network of indebted colleagues who will actively look for ways to help you out.

Reciprocity can also repair relationships that have gone sour, though not quite in the way you might expect. If you are trying to mend fences with a colleague, ask her for a favor. This sounds counterintuitive, but it works. You're giving her an opportunity to see herself as magnanimous. So ask her to help you out.

Cialdini recommends that the favor be in keeping with the person's job and will make him look good. From his own experience he cites a time when, after winning a heated debate about hiring, he immediately reached out to a colleague who had been in the opposite camp. Walking the colleague back to his office, Cialdini asked him for advice on a paper he was writing. "He gave me a few books and suggested resources," he recalls.

In the course of that discussion, Cialdini also learned what the colleague was working on. By the time he was ready to return the books, he had found some resources to recommend in return, thus cementing a positive relationship. "We didn't have a pleasant exchange in that faculty meeting. As soon as my side won, I could tell there was likely to be bitterness. But because I asked for his help, we've never been less than friends," he says.

Focus on the other person's positive attributes : Like reciprocation, focusing on a person's positive attributes is an ideal way to begin a relationship. This technique requires that you consciously look for something you genuinely like about a person. Even if he is a terror at work, there might be something you can admire about his personal interests, his past experiences, or the causes he supports.

Once you have identified the positive trait, compliment him on it. By showing your approval, you help him to like you. And that, says Cialdini, is when the barriers come down. "People feel safer and are more open and trusting with people who like them. They are more likely to give them the extra information that will help them succeed."

Focusing on the positive can help improve relations with a colleague you have historically disliked. For example, a manager at a pharmaceutical company had a tense relationship with her boss and the two were often at loggerheads. Using this technique, she realized that his tendency to hold work up was due to his desire to get it right.

When she complimented him on those values, his face lit up. The next morning he gave her the kind of information he'd never shared before: a detailed heads-up on what she should emphasize and be on guard for in gaining buy-in at an important meeting that afternoon.
"Without that information, things would have gone wrong. In the process of saying 'I admire your high quality standards,' she also gave him a reputation to uphold," notes Cialdini. He realized that if she appeared in a positive light, he as her boss would, too.

Invoke the person's previous opinions and behaviors : When you remind someone of his previous position on an issue — "Remember, Mark, how you argued that the company should devote greater resources to educating the sales team about the new product line?" — he is more likely to behave in a way that is consistent with that position. This is an example of the phenomenon known as labeling.

To use labeling to influence someone, you're giving him a reputation to uphold. If you want his support on a proposal to shift more marketing dollars from print to online ad buys to drive widget sales, invoke his track record of preferring online advertising for items similar to the widget. You want him to perceive that supporting your proposal is in line with his previous positions.

Labeling, as you can imagine, is especially effective with someone who thinks highly of his own decision-making prowess.

This technique requires familiarity with a person's priorities, values, and stated positions. If you have not worked extensively enough with someone to gain this insight, review presentations he has given and discreetly probe for information about him in conversations with those who work with him more closely.

Influence is ultimately about relationships. The more you have and the stronger they are, the better able you'll be to bring others to your side when you want their support.

Courtsey : Judith Ross & Havard Business Publishing

Root Cause Analysis of Swine Flu !!!!!


Timeless Quotations.....

1. "Well done is better than well said."Benjamin Franklin(1706-1790)

2. "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its' pants on."Winston Churchill(1874-1965)

3. "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."Mother Teresa(1910-1997)

4. "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."George Washington(1732-1799)

5. "The time is always right to do what is right."Martin Luther King, Jr.(1929-1968)

6. "All the adversity I've had in my life, has strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."Walt Disney(1901-1966)

7. "Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today."Abraham Lincoln(1809-1865)

8. "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."Vince Lombardi(1913-1970)

9. "It is better to light the candle than to curse the darkness."Eleanor Roosevelt(1884-1962)

10. "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."Dwight Eisenhower(1890-1969)

11. "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."Nelson Mandela(1918 - )

12. "We must become the change we wish to see in the world."Mahatma Gandhi(1869-1948)

13. "The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart."Helen Keller(1880-1968)

14. "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."Henry Ford(1863-1947)

15. "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music."Ronald Reagan(1911-2004)


A Child's Honest Prayer.....

"Dear God, this year please send clothes for all those poor ladies in Daddy's Computer...."

Sand & Stone.....

A story tells of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand:


They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her. After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone:


The friend, who had slapped and saved her best friend, asked her, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?" The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it."

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.

Car Airconditioning and Benzene !!!!!

Please do not turn on the Air Conditioning as soon as you enter your car....

Open the windows after you enter your car and then turn on the air-conditioning after a couple of minutes. Here's why: According to a research, the car dashboard, sofa, air freshener emit Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin (carcinogen - take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car). In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer. May also cause miscarriage.

The acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. ft. A car parked indoors with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene. If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level... Most people who get into the car (including me, atleast till i found this out), keeping windows closed will inevitably inhale, in quick succession excessive amounts of the toxin. Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver. What's worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff.

So, please open the windows and door of your car - give time for interior to air out -dispel the deadly stuff - before you enter.

Thanks Pavan for calling this out to me and trigerring a thought to go dig deeper ....

Wood Art - The Most Phenomenal Ever!!!!!!!!!!!

(click on the picture for clearer details)

Mr. BONI..... YOU ROCK !!!!!!!!!!

Obama : A 100 days in Office - Focus on Pakistan.....

By Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obamas 100th day prime TV time press conference on Wednesday night has created a grossly uneven playing field for President Asif Ali Zardaris upcoming visit to Washington, as the candid and frank, almost brutal, observations of Obama have cut Zardari to a very small size besides giving the Pakistan Army much more importance than the Pakistani leadership would like to hear.

Likewise, the US president has also revealed some fundamental shifts in Pakistans India policy and the thinking of the Pakistan Army vis-a-vis India. Such a shift, willingly or unknowingly, has not yet been remotely reflected in the policies or statements of the civilian leadership of Pakistan. Obamas assertion that the Pakistani civilian government was very fragile, without any capacity to deliver almost anything of consequence, was made in the same breath when he made several statements showing a superb degree of confidence in the Pakistan Army. It dug deep into the credibility and future of the civilian set-up, specially the fate of Zardari himself, who everyone in Washington knows, has been running Pakistan as a one-man show. So the criticism hits the Pakistani president right where it hurts.

These statements, as the US political system works, were not off-the-cuff remarks by a man thinking on his legs. Although, he was answering a question on Pakistan, Obama had come fully prepared to answer any question about the US policy on Pakistan and his 10-point statement was the ultimate crux of the numerous official briefings and position papers, which the US president has been receiving from dozens of national security, Defence Department, Pentagon, US Army and State Department officials and experts, besides the very knowledgeable scholars in Washington and US think tanks.

The 10-points of Obamas statement were couched in these crisp and sharp words:

* I'm confident that we can make sure that Pakistans nuclear arsenal is secure. Primarily, initially, because the Pakistani Army recognizes the hazards of those weapons falling into the wrong hands.

* I am gravely concerned about the situation in Pakistan, not because I think that they are immediately going to be overrun and the Taliban would take over in Pakistan.

* Im more concerned that the civilian government there right now is very fragile and dont seem to have the capacity to deliver basic services: schools, healthcare, rule of law, a judicial system that works for the majority of the people.

* As a consequence, it is very difficult for them (the government) to gain the support and the loyalty of their people.

* We need to help Pakistan, help Pakistanis.

* There is a recognition increasingly on the part of both the civilian government and the Army that this is their biggest weakness.

* On the military side, we are starting to see some recognition, just in the last few days, that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided and their biggest threat right now comes internally.

* Pakistani military is taking much more seriously the armed threat from militant extremists.

* We want to continue to encourage Pakistan to move in that direction. And we will provide them all of the cooperation that we can. We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognise that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you dont end up having a nuclear-armed militant state.

* I feel confident that that nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands.

Each of these points, when analysed, hits deep at the root of the legitimacy, competence and future of the civilian set-up in Pakistan and reflects the broader thinking in Washington that the Army probably is a better option, given the top priority Pakistan is now receiving.

For instance, he said, the nuclear arsenal was safe because the Pakistani Army recognizes the hazards of those weapons falling into the wrong hands.

His ex-pression of total no confidence in the civilian ability to deliver almost anything, not even as basic things as education, health and justice, was in fact an indictment that would be very hard for President Zardari to explain when he meets him at the Oval Office next week.

But to add insult to injury, Obama went on to say that it was very difficult for the government to gain support and loyalty of their people. These words are shocking as they show that the US president was unwilling to accept the mandate which the PPP government claims to have on the basis of the Feb 18 elections.

He then went on to say the US needs to help Pakistan, and help Pakistanis, not the government, in other words.

It was also his view that even the civilian government and the Army have recognised that this perceived incompetence was their biggest weakness. By clubbing the Army and civilians on this point, Obama revealed what the Army leadership may have been privately saying to the US generals who have been visiting Pakistan feverishly in recent days.

Obamas biggest breaking news was his observation that in the last few days, the Pakistan military had started looking at India not as the enemy number one. He saw some recognition that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided and their biggest threat right now comes internally. Pakistani military is taking much more seriously the armed threat from militant extremists.

These words mean that the Pakistani military leaders have been speaking up their mind much more openly with the Americans than the people or leaders of Pakistan. Within Pakistan, there is yet no word that the Army has been misguided in its thinking that India was not a mortal threat.

If there have been some secret understandings and assurances given by the US generals to their Pakistani counterparts, then the Pakistanis, their parliament, the prime minister or the president have either not been taken into confidence, or if the leaders are on board, someone is playing big games with the people behind their backs.

The people of Pakistan have not yet been told that India is no longer an enemy and the eastern borders are safe. If this is so, has there been any pullout of the Army away from that border, or will there be in the coming days. No one knows yet. But Obama certainly does because he has hinted at the basic shift in Pakistans foreign policy. Or may be there have been assurances given to him on that count.

And all that, according to the US president, has been done by the Pakistan military, not the government of President Asif Zardari. Lastly, the US president made it absolutely clear that stability in Pakistan was one of the biggest national security and strategic interests of America and this statement simply means that the US will protect this interest, come what may.

By implication, this also means that if Washington had to support a non-democratic, though stable government in Pakistan, it may be prepared to do so. This was not uttered by Obama in exactly these words, but reading into what he says means exactly the same. No one may, however, publicly admit this at this stage.

Diplomatic observers are unanimous in the view that just a few days before Obama meets Zardari for the first time, coming out with such brutally frank words about his administration is an ominous sign Obama would like to see the back of Zardari and would welcome a political change in Pakistan.

But one consequence of this tough talking could be that the Pakistan Army would come out of its self-imposed seclusion and would assert itself more dominantly in critical Pakistani decision-making processes.

Some analysts, however, believe that if Zardari assures the US president that he would allow this to happen and would stop his one-man rule, he may be given the chance to continue. But for Zardari to keep smiling like he always does will then be a great challenge.

And for all those on whom Zardari depends for his US policy, either in Washington or in Islamabad, it is time to pack up and go home. It is absolutely certain that they would never have told the president of Pakistan that the president of the United States was about to throw a ton of bricks on our presidents head, just days before meeting him. Maybe even they had no clue he would.