One…two…I gripped the steel bar tighter as if that would make the weight lighter. Three…four…my biceps were already burning. Five…six…I was eagerly anticipating when this set would finally be completed. Seven…eight…I took a deep breath, only two more. Nine…that’s when I heard it. He blurted it out, perfectly centered between the ninth and tenth reps. In the next few seconds, I had a decision to make.
My trainer, Clayton Halls, had just shouted, “Two more Rich.” Our original goal was ten. My biceps were ready to fail. Yet, following his suggestion, two more reps were completed. I immediately began to contemplate this phenomenon. Clayton had made a simple suggestion. Even though I was ready to stop, I pushed myself and accomplished a better result. Twelve repetitions instead of ten, measured in business terms, is a twenty percent increase in productivity—that’s significant.
“The power of suggestion” is a familiar phrase. McDonald’s has made millions utilizing the suggestive phrase, “Would you like fries with that?” Yet considering my interaction with Clayton, a new thought entered my mind. I didn’t push myself further, work harder, and endure more pain simply because a suggestion was made. My actions were directly tied to the person who made the suggestion. Clayton was the reason I continued. The suggester has greater power than the suggestion itself.
A powerful suggester pulls more out of others. They encourage people to go beyond self-imposed limitations. Suggesters cause others to accomplish something they may not do on their own. Let’s consider a few qualities that make for a powerful suggester:
- Trust—Clayton is a powerful suggester because I trust him. Trust is built over time. It begins with rapport and grows with multiple interactions. If you’re trustworthy, your suggestions have more power.
- Have your best interest in mind—Clayton wasn’t focused on making his job easier. He understands my goals and made the suggestion based on what’s best for me.
- Personal example—Clayton applies the suggestion of “two more” in his own life. He’s credible because he walks the talk. He never asks me to do what he hasn’t or wouldn’t do himself.
How are you impacting people’s lives as a suggester? Have you earned the right to ask, “two more” of others? If you are trustworthy, have their best interest in mind, and set a personal example, you can help others push beyond self-imposed limitations. Leave a lasting mark on people as a powerful suggester—that’s one way to live and work in an engaging manner.
Leave your comments: Who has impacted your life as a powerful suggester?