South by Southwest has been a whirlwind so far. So many intelligent and riveting minds shuffle in and out of ballrooms, hotels, and conference rooms over the course of five days, each with a compelling story to tell. One such brilliant mind belongs to Daniel Pink, best selling author of “Drive” and “To Sell Is Human.”
His theories on changing social behavior were not only incredibly interesting, but also helpful when applied to the workplace. He offered sound advice on issues such as using fear the right way to ensure people will cooperate or the art of persuasion achieved by asking questions. He presented these arguments with easily identifiable common life situations. Your child refuses to clean his or her room? According to Pink, instead of yelling at them and grounding them, calmly ask them from a scale of 1-10 how unwilling they are to complete the task. Chances are, they will give you a number between 2-4. Your next move is crucial. You follow up with the question, “Why didn’t you choose a lower number?” By doing this, your child will realize that in the back of his or her mind, the task isn’t so bad and probably necessary. This practice of asking questions is immensely more effective.
All seven of Pink’s tips can be applied in the workplace. Learning how to slightly alter the way you speak to managers, coworkers, and clients can help you become a more effective communicator. Be sure to check out the hashtag #AskPink to read the discussion Pink’s panel generated.