Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

by Heidi Grant
Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You

by Heidi Grant


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Humans have a natural instinct to help others.

Imagine walking up to a stranger on the subway and asking them for their seat. What about asking a random person on the street if you could borrow their phone? If the idea makes you squeamish, you're not alone--social psychologists have found that doing these very things makes most of us almost unbearably uncomfortable.

But here's the funny thing: even though we hate to ask for help, most people are wired to be helpful. And that's a good thing, because every day in the modern, uber-collaborative workplace, we all need to know when and how to call in the cavalry.

However, asking people for help isn't intuitive; in fact, a lot of our instincts are wrong. As a result, we do a poor job of calling in the reinforcements we need, leaving confused or even offended colleagues in our wake.

This pragmatic book explains how to get it right. With humor, insight, and engaging storytelling, Heidi Grant, PhD, describes how to elicit helpful behavior from your friends, family, and colleagues--in a way that leaves them feeling genuinely happy to lend a hand.

Whether you're a first-time manager or a seasoned leader, getting people to pitch in is what leadership is. Fortunately, people have a natural instinct to help other human beings; you just need to know how to channel this urge into what it is you specifically need them to do. It's not manipulation. It's just management.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633692350
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 737,450
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Heidi Grant, PhD, is a social psychologist who researches, writes, and speaks about the science of motivation. She is Global Director of Research & Development at the NeuroLeadership Institute and serves as Associate Director of Columbia's Motivation Science Center. She received her doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Asking for Help Is the Worst

1 It Makes Us Feel Bad 3

2 We Assume Others Will Say No 21

3 We Assume Asking for Help Makes Us Less Likable 37

Part 2 How to Ask Anyway

4 The Inherent Paradox in Asking for Help 57

5 The Four Steps to Getting the Help You Need 79

6 Don't Make It Weird 99

Part 3 Creating a Culture of Helpfulness

7 The In-Group Reinforcement 121

8 The Positive Identity Reinforcement 143

9 The Effectiveness Reinforcement 163

Notes 179

Index 189

Acknowledgments 199

About the Author 201

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