To start with, it is helpful to acknowledge that each of us lives in our own world. To be successful with other people, you need to understand their world and find ways to connect with them. These ideas will help.
1. See What They See – They see the world through their eyes, not yours. You don’t have to agree but try to understand the way they see things so you can talk with them in terms that make sense, to them.
2. Understand What They Get Out of It – We all, ultimately, do things based on what we believe are in our own best interests. Figure out what they get out of their current position, and how you might make your position more attractive to them.
3. Give Them a Choice – Ultimatums tend to force people to draw a line and strengthen their position. Give them a choice between getting a positive outcome from your option or a negative outcome from their current position. If you’ve figured out what they want, this can be very effective.
4. Make Sure They Know – We tend to assume that because we know something, everyone knows it but a significant number of problems between people occur because one of the parties doesn’t know something important about what’s going on. Make sure they know what you are saying.
5. Make Sure They Understand – A bigger number of issues between people comes from a misunderstanding about things they do know. What can be misunderstood, will be, so make sure you both understand things the same way.
6. Choose Your Battles – Focus on the big issues. Work on building toward an agreement on those issues and let the other person have small victories along the way so they know you aren’t just out to get them.
7. Get Them Involved – Give them a reason to agree with you. Often, if someone participates in a discussion or helps develop a policy, they will feel like they need to agree with the outcome and support the actions that are taken.
8. Help Them Be Successful – In most cases, if you can help the other person be successful it will make you more successful. Share the wealth, including information and power, so the individual sees you as an ally rather than an enemy.
9. Show Your Appreciation – Let them know you appreciate their efforts and willingness to cooperate with you. This not only tells them what you want but gives them a reason to agree.
10. Let Them Know You Care – An honest, open approach that shows you are interested in them as a person, and are willing to work with them, will go a long way toward creating a positive relationship.
Most importantly, give it some time. Trust is developed based on people’s actions over time. When you show you are interested in them and their success, both through your words and actions, you will open the door to a successful relationship.