Influencing Enemies, Adversaries, Rivals and Foes in the Workplace

Influencing Enemies, Adversaries, Rivals and Foes in the Workplace
May 13, 2019 No Comments Featured Susan Spreitzer

Interested in being more influential in the workplace? Do you need ideas on how to better influence your enemies, adversaries, rivals and foes?  I’ve found that the first step is to understand what shapes a person’s behavior. Learn about their family, education, any major events that have impacted their life.  Have they experienced adversity?  Learn about their culture and values.  Consider their career background as this will also impact behaviors.  

Now what about those enemies, those foes, those people who make us crazy?  Do you have that person in your mind?  The one who ignores you, behaves in a passive aggressive way, says things behind your back, and keeps you from being productive.  

According to Ben Franklin {referred to as the Ben Franklin Method), you should ask that person to do you a small favor.  Surprised?  So was I.  Franklin had an adversary.  Someone he considered to be a person of influence in government.  He needed to change that relationship so he decided to ask the man if he would be willing to loan him a book from his library.  Flattered, the man loaned it to Franklin.  One week later, Franklin returned the book with a thank you note.

What Franklin found most interesting is that the next time he saw the man, he was exceeding friendly. It seems this small favor led to a friendship.  They stayed in touch until the man died.  

As much as I’d like to believe that I have no enemies, they are out there.  I’ve had success using this method.  Some of those enemies have turned into friends.  With others, this method helped us to have a better collaborative interaction. 

One more thing – it works best if you are the first one to ask for a favor.  If they say NO, think of another approach.  And don’t forget, after the person provides you with this favor, treat them as if they are no longer your enemy.

Try this method.  I’d love to hear the outcome.  

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