How to get people to help you?

No matter of you need a job, a deal, if you get fired, need a place to live or even a date – you will need some kind of help from others! The question is HOW to get them to do so. Networking is key, I am sure you know. 

If you’re seeking to have valuable people on your team, acting on your behalf as either a business partner, ambassador, employee or just a reference who may be able to connect you with their networks, then try my “three times thank-you” strategy.  Let me share it with y0u. 

The University of California has carried out various studies showing that a daily display of gratitude together with an active thank-you strategy resulted in higher degrees of enthusiasm, determination, attention and energy. Research also shows that grateful people seem to be far more inclined to help others with a technical, professional, or personal problem and willing to lend emotional support in a time of need. This strategy is all about showing gratitude and indirectly strengthening relationships with other people, leading to a more satisfactory, meaningful and happy life for everyone.

It Takes Three…

A “thank-you” strategy in its simplicity is simply saying thank you to people three times—of course, you should be sincere in your approach. You need to thank them every time they have helped you or spent their time or resources with you, especially if you want this person to help you again and again. The theory is that if you only say “thank you” once, people will typically only help you for that one time. If you want people to help you more than once, you need to make a mental note to show gratitude clearly and often. As a rule of thumb and a good way to maintain any relationship, try to go above and beyond words to express your gratitude. Putting forth effort such as sending a bouquet of flowers, or purchasing a bottle of wine as a nice gesture for their support.

Let me provide a more concrete example: If you were offered a job based on a good recommendation from someone in your network, you should say “thank you” right away. However, only a few people will think about saying “thank you” again. That is why it is my recommendation that after you complete your probationary period, you return to the person and extend another thank you for recommending you for the job and share your great feelings about being able to work with the company.    

After a year or so, it would be a good idea to say “thank you” again. This time, you are sharing the results you’ve created, that you’re still happy with the job, and that you would like to say thank them once again for the opportunity.   Now you are so grateful that the person in question can only think that you appreciate and remember the help. The most likely response is that the person would like to help you again if you need it. 

The overall message is to show your gratitude when people do something for you—whether they took time to respond to your email, contributed to your cause or provided feedback of any sort—even if they don’t bring you good news. For example, you should also remember to thank people who share rejections. 

Here’s a great example of using a “three-times thank-you strategy” after a rejection. 

Some time ago, a young man approached me after my lecture. He was interested in having me as his mentor. Unfortunately, I had to tell him that I couldn’t be his mentor because not only did I lack the time but the timing wasn’t right for me to have a mentee. He thanked me for taking the time to talk with him and a week later, he wrote me an email asking if I had changed my mind. I replied to him, apologized for the rejection and asked for his understanding. He would then send me a new email in which he thanked me for my response. 

How many people do you think that I would hear from again after sharing yet another rejection? None.

A couple of weeks later, he sent me a book. On the accompanying note he wrote, “Dear Soulaima, I know that you are interested in strategy, and since that is also one of my great passions, I send you this book, which I think, is the best on the topic.”

Not only was I impressed, but I also was interested in learning more about him and appreciated his persistence even after several rejections.

This young man’s ability to say thank-you, despite my response proves that gratitude goes a long way and people will be more inclined to help you or stay connected with you within their boundaries.

Gratitude does matter so, please remember always to say thank you for any help someone offers and continue to practice gratitude to live a happier life.

Thank you so much for reading! Do not be a stranger! Reach out to me for questions and feedback 

Soulaima Gourani 

Ps: did I tell you I am shortlisted as Thinkers50?

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