Thursday, December 29, 2005

RECIPROCITY and SOCIAL PROOF

RECIPROCITY – this is about “give what you want to receive”. The best way to make friend with others is to give before you demand. This is the same to say that open up yourself before you expect others to open up. This behavior is especially important when one attempts to build good working relationship with another department or another company in a joint venture. Being too “mean” on things and do not show your generosity before demanding assistance will be harmful to the relationship in the long run.

SOCIAL PROOF – this is about “using peer power (or pressure) whenever it’s available”. This appears to be common sense but we seldom can harness its power at work. Human being is species that live together in groups. Our basis instinct is to follow behavior of others in the group that we live in. If you browse outside a restaurant that you have not been to and see nobody inside you surely will hesitate to step in. If you see a packed restaurant you surely will give it a try. If you can spot a friend of you eating inside a restaurant you definitely will jump in without hesitation. At work a charismatic leader will first capture the “heart” of a few people before making an attempt to convince a much larger group publicly. A risky and controversial approach will win alliance much easier if a few at the meeting support your proposal or even defend on your behalf. Gaining consensus by a group this way is a lot smarter than saying “I’m the boss, let’s do it”.

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