16 Comments

Nice psychology trick there, with people love being consistent with past behavior and actions.

One lesson that struck me, is letting people take the credit for ideas you thought about. A senior executive ones told me this story:

"Few years ago, I asked the CEO for a promotion, I wanted to manage our London Site. I mentioned in passing how I think I would fit there, and why. For 3-4 weeks there was silence, and I was about to raise it again. Then suddenly, he called me, saying: "You know, I had a great idea, what do you think about managing the London site?". Of course I replied: "Wow, that's an interesting idea, let me think about it". He actually thought it was his idea!".

While I didn't have such clear examples, I do often catch myself desiring the credit. Telling people: "I told you it was a bad idea", or "I said 3 months ago that we should do it!" never helps. Especially in promotions, or tough situtations with coworkers, if you can frame your thoughts as if the other side had them (as you mentioned, talking about their interests), it can have a huge affect.

And thanks for the tip about Zach's article, it was a great and inspiring read :)

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That's a nice framework, Jordan.

To prevent myself from writing whatever comes to my mind, I write 2 docs. One private with the data as I find things, the other the actual doc I share. I am adding the 4 questions at the top of my private doc to help me frame my message

Over time it'll become second nature and I'll apply it to faster communication like Slack messages or adhoc chats. Until then, being reminded about it will be helpful to make it stick.

Also, thanks for the mention!

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Thank you. Important message and all too easy to forget.

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This is a great post with amazing examples!

Most of time we end up in heated disagreements because we forget the “what” part. What do they care about. If you start caring about that, life gets simpler.

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Loved all practical examples you provided!

Having this skill is like a secret weapon for getting through to people. I had to figure it out the hard way. Usually, we just think about what we want, right? But if you go a bit further and put yourself in the other person's shoes, considering what they're after, and then shape the conversation around that, you're way more likely to see some results.

This works in personal life as well!

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A great post Jordan, good framing is so key to effective communication.

It's easy to forget that for the message to be received and understood we need to frame it in the context the the receiver gets it, not our context.

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Great article with nice examples! This is like half of the Dale Carnegie's How to win friends and influence people book :D

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I dont care about "promotions" but I yearly ask about more salary raises. My way is always working. I just say "Give me raise , or I leave" and it works very well in my country because here is so much demand for programmers. Recruiting new guy for my work is much much expensive. So I repeat this every year. No special tactics needed.

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