Yep – it’s true. Give someone a positive trait or characteristic to live up to and the chances are, they will. This is not just a feel-good philosophy but one that has proven to work time and again. In a previous article we looked at one reason. Now, let’s discuss another.
In Les Giblin’s classic, How To Have Confidence And Power in Dealing With People, he shows that the best way to elicit one acting in a certain way is to let them “live up” to your expectation of them. The following story told by the author, regarding people living up to a trait they are not usually given, demonstrates a method as good as any “truth serum” on the market today.
“A police officer was consistently able to get thugs to give him information. How? By saying, ‘People tell me you have quite a reputation as a tough guy and that you’ve been in lots of trouble, but there’s one thing you won’t do – you won’t lie. They say, if you tell me anything at all, it will be the truth – and that’s the reason I’m here.'”
Wow, talk about giving one something to live up to!
Les quotes famed British statesman Sir Winston Churchill as saying, “I have found that the best way to get another to acquire a virtue, is to impute it to him.”
This works not just for finding out the truth, but for all aspects of Winning Without Intimidation.
In Part Two, we’ll look at a personal example.