Whenever I start a new job, I purchase a lot of chocolate in various varieties. Then I put it in an easy to see, easy to transport cup. Then I walk around the building and introduce myself, bestowing candy on anyone who wants it.
I trade people’s names and a hello
for candy. I am always careful to visit the Help Desk people (which,
for those of you not in the tech industry, are the folks who usually
manage your email, passwords, computer issues, etc.), the receptionist,
IS/IT (if they are separate from Help Desk), any executive assistants,
and my immediate co-workers/team. I want my first interaction with these
people to be pleasant, and I’m not ashamed to say so; as a matter of
fact, many people smile and laugh when you tell them that you’re bribing
them for good will in advance.
That’s the trick to
bribery. It’s a blatant means of manipulation, and failing to
acknowledge that blatancy can annoy or upset people. Being obvious about
what you’re doing sets them at ease, and people who meet you with a
smile and the association of a treat, are more likely to think of you
fondly the next time you run into them.
you meet Mary the receptionist. You’ve passed her desk and know she
collects bears, so, when you’re out and about, bring her a bear. A
non-creepy bear, btw. Nothing to inspire concerns you might want to date
her or stalk her, and nothing so expensive she feels obligated for
receiving it. The point is—bears, candy or good conversation—you are
letting Mary know she is important because you thought about Mary even
when she was not around; and that means a lot to people. It could also
be things like, if Mary is busy, sign for the package for her if that’s
possible. You get the gist; do something kind of a tangible nature. Feel
free to tell her it’s a bribe if you’re doing it just to get on her
good side (feel free to let her know you want to be on her good side),
and you will be banking good fortune against a need in the future…and
you might make a friend along the way.
A lot of
techniques I suggest in this blog are methods of manipulation; the point
that I try to keep clear, that I continue to strive for, is that you be
upfront and transparent with people. It often makes them laugh, yes,
but its a vital ingredient to the natural integrity on which they will
base their opinions of you. You want them happy. You want to associate
yourself with a good thing. But you also want to take those baby steps
of good communication and connection to the next level, which is very
hard to do if those people feel you're in it only for yourself, and are
willing to manipulate people in negative ways to get what you want.
do want to manipulate people, yes. But you want to do in positive ways,
so people understand what you are doing and who you are. And it
certainly doesn't hurt if the first thing they think of when they see
you is tasty candy.