Join John Ullmen for an in-depth discussion in this video Go for more than results, part of Influencing Others.
Marshall Goldsmith poses the following scenario as a personal quiz that many leaders fail. See where you come out. You and your spouse, partner, or significant other are going out to dinner. This night you really want to go to a particular restaurant. Your partner wants to go to a different one. And you both feel strongly. You argue back and forth. But you agree to go to your partner's choice. And it turns out that the food is awful. Here are two options. Option A, complain to your partner and say this could've been avoided if you listened to me, the brilliant one.
Or Option B, don't complain, eat the food, enjoy being with your partner, and have a nice evening. We know the right answer is B, but how many of us are really tempted to do option A? I hope you do better than I did. When I first heard Marshall give this scenario years ago it hit me hard. Because I recently did a major option A with my girlfriend at the time. Option A is a bad choice. Because with your partner there is always more at stake that being right or winning in the moment. We know this. It's clear with loved ones. But when you think about it, there's also more at stake than near term results in almost all of your influence attempts.
Of course, results are important. Tasks completed, projects approved, promotions gained and sales achieved. Results stand out. They get attention. But more visible doesn't always mean more important. The relationship impact isn't always evident. But it's crucial and affected by how you influence. Do people come away from interacting with you glad they're influenced or do they feel badly about it? Does their trust and confidence in you go up or down? Did you strengthen or detract from your relationship with the person? It's one or the other, and either way, it will affect your future outcomes.
Same goes for your reputation. Warren Buffet said, It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently. After you try to influence people, what do they say to others about you? Be assured, they will talk about you. Will they say you acted with integrity, professionalism, rigor and positive persuasive force? Or will they spread negative news about you? Again, it can easily be one or the other. Now don't get me wrong, it's great to reach for great results. But if you damage your relationships and reputation, people will be less willing to support you and might even work to undermine you.
This is why the best influencers think about long-term implications even in their short-term actions. They drive for results with vigor and they care just as vigorously about how they get those results. In every influence interactions don't just go for results. Strive also to strengthen your relationships and reputation. Here's a daily exercise to help you keep those those two easily overlooked Rs front and center at all times. Called it the R and R test, before, during and after your interactions. Before you find yourself interacting with another person or group.
Ask, how can I strive to build relationships and create a basis for a positive reputation in this interaction? During your interaction, ensure your actions meet these standards. Will what I'm about to say or do increase people's trust and respect, and my own credibility? If what I'm about to say or do were being recorded on video and audio. Would I be proud to have others whose opinions matter to me see the recording? And after your interaction, review your behaviors and ask yourself, did I conduct myself with integrity, clarity, and respect? Did my presence leave others better off after dealing with me than they were before? Do I need to follow up on any misunderstandings, mistakes, or missed opportunities? Do the R and R test for better results today and much stronger sustainable positive influence, tomorrow, and beyond.
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- Turning objections into actions
- Adding more impact to your ideas
- Establishing urgency
- Using the influence advantage checklist
- Influencing to inspire
- And many more...