44. Influence - Reciprocity

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/44. Influence - Reciprocity

44. Influence - Reciprocity


The rule of reciprocity is an incredibly powerful lever of persuasion. As humans we are naturally inclined to repay a favor that has been given to us.

In this episode, we begin going through the levers of persuasion and influence from Robert Cialdini.

While reciprocity occurs naturally, there are several proactive steps we can take to best position our teams to respond positively.

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Welcome to Episode 44 of the show. And this will be the first episode of our influence series. So, if you remember from yesterday's episode, if you haven't listened that, I just invite you to pause this episode Quick, go back to tomorrow's episode and get the primer for this. Just because it's important to kind of see this whole thing and framework and and and like to get some of the background of why we're doing this. So just to quickly review, over the next several episodes, we're going to be going through several different areas of influence and persuasion that you can use on and part of the reason I wanted to do this was because we hear these principles talked a lot about in the market. But usually, they're talked about from the marketing standpoint in ways that you can embed influence into your marketing in various different ways. That's all really super important. And there's lots of ways we can do that. And I might talk about that in down the road. But I really want to tackle influence from the team leader operator perspective, and the things that you are doing on a regular basis with your teams and ways that you can start using influence with your team members on a regular basis. And do it in a very natural way, a very a way that doesn't feel sleazy, because a lot of times when we think of influence, people get weird about it, they get, they start to think it's icky and gross. And it's not these are natural things that we're doing within our human existence. Two books, I do recommend grabbing if you haven't yet get influenced by Robert Cialdini. And the the other book was sorry, Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Both those books should be in your library.

If you haven't read them, you need to and then read them again. And then read them again and read them again. They're books that are really timeless in their application, and something I just really recommend. So I want to start with a story from the office. Office is my favorite show by far. And there's a lot of different things we can grab from the office. There's a particular episode where Dwight brings in bagels, to everyone. And he's handing out bagels and has everyone's favorite bagels. And oh, thank you so much, Dwight. Well, what white is doing and he reveals that is that he's given a call in a favor from everyone. He's getting to ask them to do something. And so he brought in bagels as a means of sowing the seeds to get what he wants. And it's, I forget what exactly it was. I think it was to try to get Jim fired or something like that. That was a perpetual thing that went on there for a couple seasons. But Andy completely blows. Dwight's ask. Basically Andy receives the bagel, and immediately turns around and tries to do something for Dwight. And then Dwight goes, Wait, what are you doing? So Dwight does something else for Andy. Andy reciprocates back again. And this goes on and on and on and on several times. Dwight wants to retain the giver side. But Andy continues to satisfy the equation. So he continues to do stuff for Dwight, which means they're even Steven. And that is not a part of Dwight's plan. So it just it gets ludicrous. But definitely go back and watch that episode. It's really good. Actually. Let me see if I can find out which episode that is. It's quite a thing when Google you just put Dwight brings bagels Dwight brings and a dislike comes up immediately.

It is season six, Episode Nine of the office. Alright, so let's get into the art of reciprocity of reciprocation. So what the what this rule says is that we should try to repay in kind, what another person has provided us. If someone gives us a favor, we should do one in return by the virtue of the reciprocity rule. We are obligated to future repayment of favors, gifts, invitations. You know, this is something that is very embedded in our human culture. It's something that honestly society wouldn't exist if it weren't for reciprocity. And it's really what's given us a competitive advantage is that we actually train from a very young age, our youth and everyone in the society to act according to this rule. It's an unwritten rule that people are obligated to do and to not appeal or not abide by the Rule of Reciprocity. Man, there's all sorts of negative implications that are aspired to that someone being a moocher or an ingrate, or someone that's unthankful and gracious. And we can think of numerous terms.

I like wanker let you know, I worked for a British company for a while. But there's a general distaste for those who receive and give no effort to return. So we go to great lengths as human beings to avoid being considered one of these people, it's really overpowering, that we feel really compelled to say yes, to someone that we are indebted to. Alright, so now we know some of the principles principles behind it. You know, there's so many ways we can use this in our leadership with our teams and with anyone else that we're working with. So just some really simple ways you can do it with your teams. Consider when someone's coming on board, you're onboarding them into the onto the team, you know, welcome gifts, bringing them in letting them know, Hey, you're welcome here. Yes, you're doing a nice thing to welcome them and give them the company t shirt, and all those things, but you're also starting to trigger reciprocation, they're going to feel compelled to act accordingly. And to, you know, definitely do things for you, you're paying them for sure. But we're going, we need to go a couple steps beyond the financial transaction, and really get trigger this reciprocation because it's going to be much more powerful than just saying, well, you're working the hours. So go do it. All right. So yes, so giving them a gift when they're first coming on board. I like to even schedule that throughout the year where when certain events are coming up, if I know they're coming up, we have a small budget for purchasing these kinds of gifts for our team members.

And we're able to do that on a fairly regular basis. So that works out really well. And a very small thing is just simply remembering important dates in their lives. So remembering their birthday and making a deal about it on the company slack or on your morning call with the team, even anniversaries or my personal favorite one was work of nurseries, we always made a big deal about work of nurseries, when people hit their year one, year two, year three with the company, making it a big deal. And really showing them that appreciation on that day. A lot comes from that and you really help to not only make them feel special for that day, but you also are then increasing their likelihood of staying even longer, because you're showing that appreciation. So people do like to be appreciated, and you're also triggering reciprocity. So one thing I also do is, a lot of times we're working with partners, so we have various joint venture partners we're working with, and you will have these relationships outside of your team as the company grows. So one thing I'll do frequently is that if someone in my network has an issue that they're coming up with, or they're have a question about a specific marketing technique, or a team leading technique, I'll jump on a call with them and give them a free coaching session or film a walkthrough from my desk. Just a simple ScreenFlow walkthrough and back Hey, man, here's how I do this. It's a really simple thing, it takes almost no time and you do this at no charge. But what are you then triggering? Well, the next time I have a problem that I know one of my partners can help me out with. They're gonna be the first people I call, they're gonna be the first people I message that came in. I remember you said you had a whole lot of success with this. Can you help me out because I'm trying that right now. Oh, my goodness, they're going to jump on. Because you've already put your best foot forward to help them with an issue. And again, we're talking about an equal exchange with a partner, you help them with the problem. And now you need help with a problem very much works out. I've done that a number of times. One thing you can offer to do is help promote something they have going on. This can be very simple doesn't even have to occupy your email list. I will have specific partners that I'm on the lookout for that I follow on their social media accounts. And if they happen to be promoting something or making a big push, I will go ahead and share that with my tribe as well. So very small, very easy to do.

You really aren't losing anything by doing it. But just taking a moment to say Hey, check this out. Here's what a buddy of mines mines doing. You're gonna get that reciprocal nature when it's time for you to promote something. There's another thing that Russell Brunson was actually talking about last week when he was building out his dream 100 list before any pretty much any major launch that they've done a click funnels.

One way that he got the attention of his dream 100 people wants to send them person nice gifts. So he took a moment to look through their feeds and see what they're interested in, you know, there's a lot that can be held or like can be gained by actually taking an interest in someone and sending them something. It's kind of a forgotten Art of Doing things like that. And I'm becoming a very big component of handwritten letters, proponent of handwritten letters, I should say, we'd live in this digital age, where everything is either an email or a Voxer, or loom video or something like that. There's a certain nostalgia, when you actually sit down, pull out a pen, and write a card, write a personal letter to someone. It really helps build that relationship. And it shows that this is more than just a transaction for you. You're putting forward your intention, you're putting forward your thoughts, and you're gonna get that reciprocated back to you. When it's time for you to ask for something, you're building that relationship.

So one thing that can also come from this is, you know, all this grows, which is great, like building relationships so that when you have an ask, it's more likely to be reciprocated. It's also observed that the reciprocate the rule of reciprocation can trigger unfair exchanges Is that what you end up asking for is much bigger than what you gave. But because you gave first it ends up resulting in you having a better chance of getting what you're asking for. There's also an aspect to it. That's called the rejection then retreat technique. This is when you use an initial concession as part of an effective compliance technique. And so this is where you ask for something large and then scale it down to something smaller. How this was observed in the book by Cialdini was a Boy Scout asked if Robert Cialdini would be willing to go to this like Boy Scout camp ground thing for the eye. And Cialdini had no interest in doing that. Well, then the Boy Scouts simply said, Okay, well, will you buy these two chocolate bars then? And Shadi is like, well, I don't really like chocolate bars. But here I found myself holding two chocolate bars. Like, how did that happen? Because the first request was so large, that it ended up triggering that an eventual request, where he ended up buying the chocolate bars when he had absolutely no interest in doing so. But because of reciprocation, he was much more likely to do that. So how can we do this with our teams, there's two ways I've used it very recently, that worked out really nicely.

The first became with simple project management, where start by asking for a big request, and then scale it down. So you can ask someone to handle all of one project, but have it in your mind the whole time that you intend on breaking it up, and giving them part of the assignment, or breaking up the assignment instead of giving them all of it at once. Kind of let them know that all of it is coming. Or, yeah, now that I said that out loud, no actually asked for the whole thing at once. When they get kind of that overwhelmed feeling, then you break it down. When you break it down. You've already done the big request, they might have been not too keen on that or not really inspired by that. The smaller request then triggers them saying, Okay, I'm willing to do that part of it. Alright, another thing that I recently did was I was I was asking my team members to stretch into other parts of the company. Long story short, we needed to be making some phone sales. You know, that's a whole thing unto itself. And I didn't have the time or the resources to fully hire staff train up a sales team and said I had to use what we had internal. So I had a sales script already. And I was ready to go. And I knew I had to ask some other people. So I asked two of my team members that they are comfortable, this and this. I get triggered, like immediate, uncomfortableness in them. They were not ready to do this. What I ended up doing was I scaled it down to where they were helping to answer some of the emails and the questions that that we were Fielding, they helped me to review the calls afterwards to see where I could improve because I ended up doing the sales calls, which was great for me anyways, first time we did it. And honestly, in retrospect, it should have been me doing that, because it was our first time and we're definitely in a beta version of those sales scripts. So I learned a lot and I was able to scale it down to bring them on board. And now they have a much more competent view into the sales process and how things work.

So the final thing I really want to go over is that as leaders, we need to recognize this rule. It's no one's fault, when they ask for something from us, you know, there are people that will deliberately plan out ways to trigger the rules of reciprocation. I hope you're one of them now, like actually think this through and think of ways where you can utilize human psychology to get what you ultimately want. That being said, we need to be aware of it, we need to be aware of reciprocation, and shield ourselves from it, basically, just recognize that people are going to invoke the reciprocation rule to gain our compliance, they're not the enemy, though rule is the enemy. So we need to stay 10 steps to diffuse its energy to prevent ourselves from being triggered by reciprocation, and instead being emboldened to be the leaders in our organization. So I take steps to like not accept gifts, definitely never turned to my employees. And during times of duress, I go for colleagues, or higher ups in the organ organizations I work with, you know, I'm not going to allow a subordinate to be able to trigger that rule of reciprocation with me, instead, I need to remain in the driver's seat. And so do you if you are leading teams if you're in that seat, and then recognizing when someone is using it. So if you are getting a free gift from something, just realize that an ask is coming? Like, have a feel for what the ask is, and be prepared to say no. If that's the right case, human psychology is going to trigger in and you are going to feel compelled to follow through. But just understand why you're being compelled to follow through why that person was even asking you, because they knew they already did something for you. So knowing that is a way of just being able to defuse it, and be able to have agency going forward. Just be aware of that. And yeah, you're gonna fall victim to it, we all do. And that's human nature, recognizing that human nature and recognizing that is natural, is really the first step.

All right, well, I hope this gave you some great ideas on how to use reciprocation within your teams within your companies. There are numerous ways and once you start to think about it through the the own framework of your own company, I'm sure you're going to come up with various ways that you can use. What I like to do is I keep these rules kind of on my desk, and I'm constantly thinking about different ways I can employ them. There's another set of skills I use called sleight of mouth, there's ways you can reword stuff back to your audience in order to to move them forward. I do the same thing with the rules of influence, where I do take a moment to consciously think about how I can trigger different rules in order to better lead and inspire my team into action. So they're able to not only help the company, but also feel like they're contributing and help us move forward.

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