A Manual for Workplace Relationships and Communication, Maybe “You Should be More Calculating in Your Communication”

▲ Ashley Chen – You Should be More Calculating in Your Communication

The word “calculating” always seems to be a bit negative, like a horrible and scheming colleague at the office. In fact, it is exactly your grounded personality and hard work that requires a little boost with a bit of cunning schemes. This helps you to establish better relationships with your supervisors and colleagues, to make your clients with the perfect impression on you, and to stay calm and focus on the main points in your response in tough negotiations. 

The author of the book – Counseling Psychologist Ashley Chen, who has been lecturing on negotiation psychology in various major corporations. She uses examples from our daily lifes (Why is there always one breakfast restaurant among others with similar dishes but more popular?) and scientific analysis (Did you know that the human brain takes two different paths in decision making?) to explain to her readers profound ideas, such as psychological tips for interpersonal relationships and communication that you could apply in everyday life. 

The book is divided into three chapters, Chapter 1 “Establish relationships and obtain potential interpersonal opportunities”, Chapter 2 “Reduce uncertainties in communications, avoid losses”, Chapter 3 “Only well applied psychological strategies can lead to true action”. One impressive example from each chapter is recounted below as a general representation of the book.

The Secret of Mirror Neurons: Build Familiarity with Body Language

We all know that the first impression is very critical. When we go on an interview, meet a new client for the first time or go on a first date, we must always be fully prepared. Instead of think about what to say and what to wear, Ashley reminds us a very important point that is often overlooked – the key is body language. 

Conscious usage of body language expresses confidence and even allows others to subconsciously feel an affinity towards you. Inside everyone’s brain, a special “mirror neuron” was retained through revolution. It allows us to subconsciously mirror each others body movements when we are in a pleasant conversation or spending time with a intimate partner.

Meanwhile, if we are facing an unfamiliar person, when we purposefully “generally” mirror that his or her gestures, such as raising a cup and others, it would prompt this person to subconsciously feel that “I am able to get along with this person”!

Anchoring: Would You Buy the Large, Medium, or Small Cup?

Do you still remember when the beverage shops just started to appear, there were still three drink sizes, including large, medium and small. However, the sizes were gradually  changed to extra large, large, and medium. You might have guessed that this was some kind of sales conspiracy. No one can order a small cup if the size didn’t exist, and the stores would make more money. Ashley tells us that it involves a psychological secret – the Anchor Effect. 

To be more specific, if you are a customer without  a certain preference, you might lean towards a “neutral” option. That is to say that those who used to buy a medium cup will now get used to the large cup. Psychologists have proven that merely a difference in “the initial anchor” will have an impact on people’s intuitive judgment. Once you realize this fact, even if you are not a salesperson or a store clerk, why not give it a try when you have to make a proposal as an office worker?

Unequal Exchange in Value – Win-Win Situation can be Achieved by Discovering Potential Demands

Ashley uses her personal experience as an example here to describe the story of how “the landlord rented her the place despite the lowest offer”. She knew she was on a budget, but she didn’t just give up. She chose to have a conversation with the landlord and realized that the landlord did not need a lot of money, but put a lot of effort on childcare. Also, the landlord didn’t want to spend time dealing with additional affairs. Except for the rent price, Ashley found the landlord’s hidden demand, and convinced the landlord according to it. She was willing to take care of the additional affairs to save the landlord’s time. She was even able to offer parenting advice from a psychologists point of view when needed. 

In a buy-sell conflict of interests scenario, we often overlook that everyone has their alternative considerations in the real world. Find the other person’s “hidden demands” can achieve satisfaction on both sides, and allow the other person to feel empathized and understood. The relationship would become even closer. 

People who make good use of being calculating are not annoying, but rather quite welcomed, no matter in the workplace or in life. If you have problem from interpersonal relationships and communication, maybe this book can help.

Listen to an excerpt of the audiobook on Sound Cloud >> next.pse.is/KMULF

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