A few years ago, I was speaking at a conference for head teachers on personality types and on ways to bring out the best in people.
After my talk, the head teacher of a school for special needs children approached me with a letter she had written, requesting an increase in her school budget. It read along the lines of:
If we had more money in the budget we would be able to provide a better quality of care for our children, we would be able to support them more etc.
It was written by a caring lady appealing to her caring values.
She realised she had got this ‘wrong’ and needed to appeal to the financial controller’s values. She knew this person and realised he was not a carer but a driver, results focused and direct.
If we have more money in the budget we will be the first school in the county with this initiative. We will have other schools coming to see what we are doing. We will have publicity in the local paper. We will be setting the pace for future generations.
Now he is more likely to respond to her request as she is appealing to his value set.
Trade in the other person’s currency and language
People move for their criteria not yours. Relate to others in their map of the word. By appealing to the other person’s values and language, you will dramatically improve your ability to influence and get agreement.