So I was talking with a friend a long while back, and we agreed on a very interesting twist on how people normally communicate. It comes down to my beloved principle of reevaluating situations based on goals, rather than common practices, which I need to explain some day because it’s awesome and will change your life for the better.
Anyway, one of my goals in life is to become better. Doesn’t matter with what, I wanna become better. A great way to do this is to be given knowledge by other people. And boy, do people love to tell you how to do things.
So when someone comes up to me and tells me how to do something, and I already know it, what do I say? Well, if you’re like me and the rest of the world, you’ll probably say, “I know.” And maybe throw in a thanks in there.
Here’s a trick. Drop the “I know.” Just say thank you. Gratefully. And give ’em a smile. They were trying to help, after all, and the goal is to drain as much of their knowledge as possible, right?
If you go around telling people that you already know things, or you’re ungrateful, they’ll probably stop telling you things. Even an idiot can spout a gem now and then, or (also awesome) come up with an unconventional solution. It pays to be polite and grateful, and drop the “I know” part.
Another fun thing is in how you ask someone if they need help. If they’re working on something you really want done, you can word the question “How can I help?” That way, you don’t let them off with a yes or no. They have to actually think of what you can do before dismissing it. Of course, if you just want to get out of it, you can ask “Is there anything I can do to help?” Generally, if they’re busy, it’s easier to just say no and keep focusing. But if they really do need help, then they’ll be able to quickly pick something out.
Of course, it’s not foolproof if you’re trying to get out of work. But my goal was to help, not to escape, when I came up with it.
Words can be really powerful if you use them in the right combinations.