I needed an email forwarder created, definitely a trivial task. The type of task that is easily lost in the “I’ll get to it later” collection and forgotten, both by the requestor and the person responsible.
Instead of the usual mundane email, I took 5 pieces of chocolate with me. I started in one cube and explained why I wanted the forwarder. The cube resident agreed it was a valid request, accepted a chocolate, and sent me to the person that could create the forwarder.
I took the 4 remaining pieces of chocolate to another cube and explained what I wanted, handing the chocolate to the guy with the privileges.
2 hours later, I had my forwarder.
I replied to the email with a thank you, and an image of an ice cold beer.
Management principles - why this was more successful than some of my other requests -
- emails are easy to read and close. A person, with chocolate, is more memorable
- A reward or incentive (chocolate), regardless of how trivial or small, is of value in that it represents appreciation.
- There was cooperation. Although I knew what I wanted, I did take the time to ensure it was a valid request with a good application.
- The request was clear. Even though it was verbal, it was easy to understand what I wanted, so that’s what I got.
- Finally, it is important to say thank you. After all, as Horton might say, “a request is a request, no matter how small.”
* Horton credits to Dr. Seuss