I've been telling everyone I work with to stop acting like other people are doing you favors, and instead just be completely virtuous and then note that you're doing a favor for them if you approach them to work together. This got a little pushback, with one team member saying, "Can we rephrase it as "Don't come across like you're asking for something from a position below them, talk to people as if you're on equal standing and in a mutually beneficial relationship with them"?" Here's my reply -
So, I played Dungeons and Dragons when I was 12 years old. Great game, lots of fun. You get to have storytelling and roll dice and it's really just neat.
But I remember one time, I was confused that there was a "treasure table" that was roughly the same for all characters. Meaning, good characters and evil characters got the same amount of gold/treasure/magic items/whatever.
That didn't make any sense to me. The heroes were famous and loved by society, the villains were evil and wretched and spent all their time chasing gold, so certainly the villains should at least wind up with more gold, right?
And my DM - Dungeon Master - said no, that's not the case. The evil person plots and schemes all the time, and gets gold that way. The good person just does right for everyone, and thus the grateful villager or king gives them gold and magic weapons and whatever.
That's pretty much it - evil people plot and scheme, good people just do good and get compensated.
Except! In real life, no one notices your contributions unless you tell them.
So instead of, "Hey guys, we just killed the dragon..." and then the mayor gives you a +12 sword... instead, in real life, you have to say, "Hey guys, we just killed the dragon. And you've got an unused +12 sword just sitting there since the ancient ruler retired. Can I take that with me?"
Good guys can do that. But the vibe is, "We're killing dragons, want to help?"
You, dragon-killer, are actually doing them a favor by offering to let them help you. I know that sounds strange, but it's really the right vibe.
"Let's plot and scheme together" scares people, risks connotating that you're evil, and otherwise puts people on-guard.
I'd cut out any mutually beneficial relationship vibe/bullshit, and just be like, "Hey, we're killing dragons. Dude, give me that sword." It doesn't work all the time, but it works more often. It's more satisfying, too.
I'd add that you really, really do have to take care of and protect everyone's interests - as mentioned in the "Rationalist Humanitarian Command" series of videos.
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