52. Influence - Scarcity

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/52. Influence - Scarcity

52. Influence - Scarcity


We finish up our exploration into the Cialdini’s levers of influence with scarcity.

While many of us are well familiar with this principle in marketing, there are specific ways that we can leverage this principle into our team leadership.

Not only that, but there are specific management speed bumps that you can avoid by designing your team and communicating changes properly. There’s just as much to learn by avoiding triggering scarcity with our team members!

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Thank you so much for joining me today, as we wrap up our deep dive into Cialdini influence the science of persuasion with the final lever of persuasion, which is scarcity. So if you've enjoyed this series, so far, please do reach out, let me know it's been a whole lot of fun going back through all the materials reading the book for about the 20th time. But it's been really fun looking at through this different framework through different lens. Whereas typically, when I'm looking at this, I'm looking at it from the marketing perspective. But there's all sorts of influence that we can have on our team, with our team members with people in the market. And I mean, my gosh, the number of ways that we can leverage influence, I just get more and more ideas. The more I think about this, the more I go through it. And I think that's what's really powerful. And I've really, I've really gotten a lot out of this, and I hope you have as well. So we come to our final principles, scarcity. So many of us if you've done marketing for more than five minutes, you know about the different ways that we employ scarcity, either through expiring discounts, or limited number of products available, the primary ways that we've, we tend to do scarcity. But scarcity can also have an impact on how we're managing our teams. And I looked into this, and I came into it with an open mind, because I mainly thought to how I've been using scarcity. And then I read the chapter through this different frame of mind. And I was able to see a whole lot of things that I'm willing, that I'm really happy to share here.

So what we do know is that opportunities do seem more valuable to us when they're available, availability is limited. So that just plays a huge role in human decision making, because it's the idea of a potential loss. In fact, science shows us that people seem to be more voted motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value, which kind of blows my mind, right. But let's explore this through the team and operator perspective. So the first thing I thought of was that your time is valuable. Your time is incredibly valuable, and your team's time with you needs to be treated with that same value. And your team needs to have respect for your times value and vice versa. So what I propose is that you're actually doing yourself a great service in the eyes of your team and their perception of the value of your time. By limiting your availability, by making you untouchable during certain parts of the day by turning off slack. Getting off your phone, being unreachable. seems counterintuitive. But actually, when we do that, when we have our office hours when we are available, we're telling our team, this is the time to reach me.

Come at it, what they're going to do, then intrinsically, they're going to say, Adams really busy, he has a lot going on. I have a window to get to him. And that's a really valuable time for me to ask my questions, get clarity on an issue, suddenly, your time becomes more valuable. And their desire to get through to you. Because it does happen. You know, they do have to ask questions. They do need to have clarification on projects and things. But by purposely limiting limiting it, or introducing some scarcity and to the conversation. And I also recommend doing the same thing, vice versa. So if you follow my full planning system and communication cadence, which is inside the page source, paid section of smooth operator operations, I actually have a system where I only communicate with my team at certain given points during the day and during the week. And I will deliberately funnel all of the things that I have to communicate into those areas of opportunity that are pre planned. Pre coordinate every knows everyone knows when they're coming. But I get it all in these blocks of time I'm segmenting my info Meishan flow up, and my information flow back down into specific areas. When we do that, again, introducing scarcity into the conversation. So not only do they have a greater appreciation and value of your time, but you are resending that value back to them. So what does that end up doing for them, it makes them treat their time with more value. Because time is scarce. And treat time is scarce, and you will get better results from your team.

So that's the real positive thing that we do see. There's another source, a secondary source of power that exists within the scarcity principles. And overall, it's the idea that as opportunities become less available, and we lose freedoms, and that we hate to lose the freedoms that we already have. So according to theory, whenever free choice is limited or threatened, we feel the need to retain our freedoms. And so that makes those freedoms more desirable than they were previously. And it's a boomerang quality that we see it's it's kind of known as the Romeo and Juliet effect. And what happens when our team members have a perceived loss of freedom. So often, within remote teams, we do give a lot of freedom with the teams, we'd let them know kind of their left and right limits. But what happens if we have to pull back, if we have to truncate our our team members into a certain time zones, or we have to limit what they're able to do on a project, they're going to feel that loss, and that scarcely effect is going to hit them.

So for most people, for like emotionally immature, age groups, like teenagers have studied pretty, pretty heavily in here. It's always a really turbulent and forceful reaction that you're going to get from them. For most of us. We have to think of our energy, like a geyser at Yellowstone National Park, it only erupts on occasion. But it's those eruptions that can be extremely damaging. So as we have changing policies, changing things that are going on within the company, how are we working against scarcity principles, when we're employing those? I'm a big proponent of kind of the open door policy and implementing things in dribs and drabs rather than all at once. That's one way to do things, and overlay is to show them the benefit of why something is changing. A phrase I like to use is bureaucracy, but good.

How are changes being pushed out to the team? How are they being communicated?

Think of this very carefully as you're making changes as you're adapting things within your company. Because no matter what you're mitigating against, you are going to end up getting some scarcity reactions from your team members, be prepared for that. And try to work against the pressure that's building up inside that geyser so that you're communicating it fully.

You're giving them an area to react to, you know, and you need to be that emotional leader of the team to hear their emotions out. I rarely will implement a large change to the team without putting in an open call for one to ones if team members want to discuss things with me make that available will always help. The same goes with information. Where if we're that this kind of goes hand in hand with this, if we're making a change, but we're not giving the full scope of the why. What are the numbers? What are the realizations, the surveys, whatever it is that's causing this change? If we're trying to censor that information, if we're trying to hide that information, only give them a piece. People have a feeling and a gut reaction when they know they're not being told everything. And hiding information will never work long term. It just won't. It's only a matter of time before they find out the full picture. And they're going to be curious about it. They're going to know that something else is happening, that there's a reason for your decision making. But without being clear about it. What service are you doing for your team? You're holding them back You're introducing scarcity. And introducing these levers, I don't know of a time when it worked positively when when the lever produces a negative effect, there are a lot of these levers we can pull that produce a positive effect and lean into those. Scarcity is never one. It's especially not one, we're talking about the second third order implications of scarcity.

So get in front of that. Be a transparent organization, and you will guard against this principle being triggered during this time. So the final thing I really want to discuss is that what was observed is that if privileges or rules are either not consistent, or seem to be all over the map, there's no seeming a formula for your action as a manager, you're going to end up triggering rebellion. People want to be treated fairly, they want to make sure that everything that they're being told is what everyone else is being told. They want to make sure that if they're being held to a certain policy, that it is uniform, sustained, consistent with enforcement of policies, whether it be your communication policies, your sick policies, Sick Day policies, like all these things. Consistency is the best answer and it's definitely it's a whole accompany start trying to stay consistent, and you will fail. Except that straight out, that not a matter of if you fail if you struggle to stay consistent if something falls through, but it's gonna be when it's going to happen. So what's your reaction when it does? Do you get in front of it? Do you try to correct things? Do you admit your vulnerability admit that you were wrong? Admit that you fell short of your own stated objectives? That's part of staying consistent with policies and meeting when you fall short. And when you didn't do your role correctly?

Because that's, what's your responsibility, right? So scarcity, I came into this not really knowing how much I would gain from this as a manager with the way I've used scarcity in the past, I come away with a whole new understanding of the various psychological triggers that we are potentially employing. By either advertently or inadvertently introducing scarcity into what we're doing. I hope this was a helpful episode for you, you can see a little bit past the ways we typically typically use scarcity. Good luck thinking of new creative ways to employ this in your business, and with your team leadership and how you're working with people in the market.

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