Whose side are you on?

Published: Dec 12 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Today’s friend is tomorrow’s foe in this dynamic and complex world. Barely a day goes by without mergers, acquisitions, take-overs (hostile or not) or promotions, that take the guy you were managing and makes him your boss.

How do we best manage our relationships to get the most out of them in this constant flux?

Seems the best way of building rapport is to focus on what psychologists call "‘uncommon commonalities".

A group of Manchester United soccer fans were asked to fill in a questionnaire about what they liked about their team before moving to another building to fill in a second part of the study. 

Unknown to them on their journey between the two sites they witnessed an accident (deliberately staged by actors), involving someone tripping and hurting themselves. Sometimes the accident involved someone in a plain t-shirt, other times a Manchester United shirt and thirdly a Liverpool shirt. For the non-soccer fan, Manchester United and Liverpool have a fierce rivalry.

Perhaps the results will come as no surprise. The fans were most likely to help fellow Manchester United fans, followed by those in plain colors. The Liverpool fans fared worst. 

What may be more of a surprise is what happened in the next part of the study.

The same set-up, with Manchester United fans, but instead of asking the group what they liked about their team, they were asked what they liked about soccer.

They then witnessed the same accident scenario.

In this second group, the Manchester United fans were twice as likely to help the Liverpool fan.

So what?

It seems that by focusing on the things the group had in common the relationship or potential partnership has double the chance of a good outcome. 

In conflicts, it is very easy to focus all of our effort on what our differences are. Seems if we can build on the commonalities we may have greater chance of success.

Alan Smith


SHARE

blogAuthor

About the author:

Alan Smith
No bio is currently avaliable

Latest Blog:

Muck Shift

Just when is a deal not a deal…? I heard this story from a friend of mine the other week; there are some lessons to be learned! So, my pal is a developer and is building some houses on what is essentially a square site. Two sides of the square can be accessed from the road in a neighboring housing estate and the other two are beside a field owned by another developer. There is a huge pile of muck to shift before the actual building project; this phase is known in the trade – and not unreasonably - as a "muck-shift"! As there will be 80 -100 lorries coming in and out each day for 6 weeks, it was considered more convenient to access the site over the field, so an approach was made to the developer to discuss the terms under which he would allow access. This is a standard arrangement and the deal typically is that the field would be returned to the owner in its original condition. Developer makes a bit of money, where otherwise he wouldn’t; homeowners in the adjoining estate are less inconvenienced; builder does not need to spend money cleaning the streets and getting them back to a usable state at the end of the project. Win-win.

Latest Tweet:





United States
973.428.1991
usa@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png