When you’re asking for help from others, don’t try to remind them of how you helped them in the past and what good deeds you did for them. Instead, find out how your request will benefit them right now. That’s all you should be focusing on. Never confuse your needs with theirs.
We naively assume that people are interested in helping us selflessly, that our needs matter to them. The truth is that even the most powerful person has needs and desires. You must appeal to those or else they will think you are just wasting their time.
Appealing to Genghis Khan’s self-interest
When the great Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan was invading China. all he wanted to do was plunder and destroy the country. However, a man named Yelü Chucai appreciated the Chinese culture and wanted to keep it intact. So he managed to become a trusted adviser to Genghis Khan.
By the time Genghis Khan took the city of Kaifeng, Yelü Chucai went up to him and said that all the finest craftsmen and engineers from other parts of China had fled to Kaifeng. He convinced Genghis Khan that it would be great to put them to use, and in return he could collect taxes and get richer.
Genghis Khan, being the greedy warrior that he was, did not care for arts or sciences, but he did care for the fact that he could make money. The taxes appealed to him, so he spared the city from plunder unlike what he had done to any other city in the past.
This is the key: the ultimate lever to move people is their self-interest. Try to get them to see– ● how you can meet their needs
- How you can advance their causes
- How many of your requests will actually help them
Then you will not encounter any resistance. Constantly train yourself to be able to see inside other people’s minds
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