How your attitude keeps the mice away

How your attitude enables you to gain people’s trust and build meaningful and productive relationships with your colleagues.

Are you driven by mice?

According to the spy folklore of the Cold War someone would consider to share information with you if one or more of the following criteria were met: Money, Ideology, Conscience, and Ego – MICE.

Probably some people are suggestible when the circumstances are right and may be influenced by money, political views, their sense of right and wrong or appeals to their pride.

But is this really the case in normal professional situations? Well, it is ascertainable now and then, that’s certainly true.

Nevertheless, we beg to differ and offer an alternative for this pretty basic view of human nature and what we actually strive for.

We say there is a way to influence people that gives them what they want, allows you to work with people from a basis of mutual trust, and accomplish what you need.

Would you like to know what this is?

Build a better mousetrap

Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door, as the American philosopher Emerson is purported to have said.[1]

Well, people indeed will ‘beat a path to your door’ if you give them what

Aspire to

This ‘trap’ is easy to build, and holds high attractiveness. You ‘bait’ it with something people really want, and claim they miss in their professional life.

What professionals miss in their work

Most professionals are under the pressure of the need perform at a very high level permanently. They have the feeling they are in constant competition with their fellow professionals to be the best, the fastest, the most productive. And they often have to perform in an environment that is dominated by office politics, sales targets and implicit social (and gender) demands.

Add to this the other stresses of modern life and you understand that people don’t easily find what they actually look for in their work. They do not receive what they really aspire to possess.

What is that they really aspire to possess?

A meaningful existence

Research done in the UK and the USA during 2015 showed that close to 40% of professionals thought their jobs didn’t make any meaningful contribution. Over 80% of the senior physicians reported that they aim to retire early due to lack of fulfillment. And even 66% of nurses claimed they would quit if they could.[2]

You could add what is lacking

You could give these people what they want, make their day, and build a relationship based on trust. The thing these professionals miss most is a meaningful connection with the output of their work, and with other people. We feel safe when it is there, and feel insecure when it is gone. Connection is precisely what you could give to people.

Make their day and gain their trust

There’s a lot of research done in the neurosciences, about emotions, the sense of safety and the actual social situation people are in. This indicates that once people have a connection with each other, they tend to relax. They are more open, and let go of some of their defenses.

We just feel better when we become aware of a safe relationship with a connection to another person. This makes evolutionary sense, but it also makes sense socially, psychologically, and emotionally.

Connection allows people to have meaningful interactions with each other, and because they are more relaxed, they tend to be happier and more productive.

How to build your trap

It is up to you to make this specifically applicable, but with some easy guidelines it’s easily done and you will experience the advantages immediately. All it requires is a little preparation.

Just prepare a little. First think about how you would like others to behave towards you. Many years in coaching and consulting has shown us that most people actually would like someone to be reliable, courteous, fair, and to show generosity, care, empathy, and a basic flexibility. In short, they like your attitude to be based on your willingness to make a connection.

Perhaps this is pretty obvious. Then again people report they don’t encounter it that often professionally, and that if they do it is meaningful to them.

You could be the one who makes the connection and allows people to relax. Both your professional lives will become more meaningful, and more productive, as a result of you giving people what they really aspire to possess.

You can check your approach and refine it easily by booking a coaching conversation with us. We guarantee you will be able to build a ‘trap’ that is meaningful to the people you meet and meaningful for yourself, as well as productive for your own professional life. We also have developed an easy to use checklist to discover what people really want, and how your attitude matches this. It’s yours for free if you ask us for it.

© Rudi de Graaf en Iris Dorreboom

[1] He might and he might not have said it. At any rate, it’s not in his published works.

[2] See: The Guardian 23th Nov 2017, From inboxing to thought showers.

Interested in finding out how to build better relationships with your colleagues?

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