Don’t Spank the Gorilla

Don’t expect the gorilla to cooperate if you’re spanking him. Insults don’t enhance influence.

You can’t antagonize and influence at the same time.

gorilla look

The teammate you’re complaining about was hired by the person you are complaining to. The project you tell your boss is stupid was her idea. The organization you’re grumbling about was created by the people you are grumbling to.


No one listens to you until they feel understood by you.

You’re so excited about your ideas that you inadvertently create resistance in the people you need to implement your ideas.

Before changing what’s in place, understand it.

Explore and understand current practices and projects before suggesting improvements.

7 firsts of influence:

The difference between a leader and a follower is who moves first.

  1. Understand them first, then ask them to understand you.
  2. Connect with others first, then invite them to connect with you.
  3. Make others feel appreciated first, then call them to appreciate you.
  4. Serve them first, then ask them to serve you.
  5. See their dream first, then ask them to see yours.
  6. Feel their pain first, then share your frustrations.
  7. Listen to them first, then ask them to listen to you.

Don’t spank the gorilla. Give him what he wants. Appeal to his inner motivations. Make him feel safe.

Start with others.

Leaders who begin with themselves, come off as arrogant and pressuring. That’s because they are. But, leaders who start with others, come off as humble and inviting.

How do leaders insult the people they want to influence?

How can leaders show respect to the people they lead?