handful of cashEveryone in the audience watched expectantly.

The speaker had just challenged someone from the audience to come up on stage and try to get him to let go of a $20 bill from his clenched fist. The first lady steps up and pries on his fingers, but doesn’t have any luck. The next guy is bigger, stronger. He gives it a little more effort, but he isn’t able to force the man to let it go.

Once the participants are back in their seats, the speaker calls up one more person. The older woman totters up to the stage, walks directly up to the speaker, and says, “Could you open your hand, please?”

With a smile, the speaker opened his hand and happily handed over the $20.


What was the lesson here? Was it that you needed to be bigger, stronger, or smarter to get results?

Or maybe, just maybe, it was the fact that courtesy and communication can make more things happen at a faster pace than mere strength or intelligence.

Want something to get done?

  • Ask nicely
  • Demonstrate the behavior/activity
  • Make it fun
  • Offer a reward
  • Lead by example
  • Think of those who try to “force” it, and try anything different

That, my friends, is how you “make” someone do something.

Looking for more content on influencing people at work? Check out Are you a Decision Maker or an Influencer?, How We Can vs. Why We Can’t, or Pick a Card, Any Card.

Subscribe for updates and get the free Organizational Culture Change Manifesto eBook

Subscriber Preferences
  • 15 thoughts on “How to “Make” Someone Do Something

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *