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In Doubt? Say Something Nice

Have you ever run into the situation where you are around people but you don’t quite know what you should be doing?

Often times, we miss great influence gathering opportunities because we don’t know what to do. Instead of earning influence or spending it wisely leading people, we spend our influence boosting ourselves or waiting for our turn to “add value” to the conversation. Try this instead.

Say something nice about what another person does.

You see, people grow in the areas where they are cultivated. Generally, people grow in the areas where other people make it clear that they provide value. Because this is true, we can use this as a simple way to earn influence and grow other people. And even better, when we really don’t know what to do (and there isn’t anything at stake), we can use this as an opportunity.

Look for two seconds at what someone else provides, think about particular aspects about it that you like, and then tell them. Even if you think that 90% of what they’re doing is annoying, a pain in the ass, or causing them more pain than anything, you should do this anyways.

Remember, people will grow in the areas they are cultivated.

Find that small (or large) thing that you like, and tell them. This tip is really really easy and you will be surprised how in a very short amount of time, the other person has become almost super human in those things.

If you decide that it would be better if you do nothing, you are leaving their growth to random chance. Why do you think that people develop such weird habits? They receive reinforcing feedback from the world that its “what they ought to do”, even if it really isn’t.

If you happen to be in the effort of cultivating people and you need big change, don’t try and “bite the whole elephant” at once, instead, try the small thing by saying specific things about them are awesome.

One reason this works so well, is because near no-one is doing this.

When in doubt, say something nice. And when you do, say something nice to yourself…

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