How to move other people, in one simple step

February 25, 2014

MoveUSOn Tuesday I was flying into Auckland from Melbourne.  The plane had already been delayed and it also took ages to board.  We had all settled in and there was a row of 4 seats next to me and only 3 of those seats were occupied.  The air hostess approached the man sitting in the middle seat who had an empty seat beside him.  She said ‘Sir would you mind moving to another seat at the back, also a middle seat?’.  He looked at her with an incredulous expression and it looked like he had just got his TV settings the way he wanted, he had stowed away his things and got comfortable and now he was being asked to move. Really, could life get any harder?

She then quickly added ‘There is a couple on their honeymoon who are sitting separately, but if you moved into one of their seats, they could  move here and sit together’.  Everyone around him just went ahhh.. and he got up with smile and a shrug of his shoulders.

The simplest but sometimes most over looked way to influence, to move people is to give them a compelling ‘why’.  So often we get stuck into the detail, the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ and forget to start with ‘Why’.  Why this matters, why should anyone care.  Simon Sinek in his TED talk ‘How leaders inspire action’ states people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.  So to move people start by giving them a ‘Why’.  Would love to hear your thoughts.


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