Game Time for Pat

Pat was thankful her mentoring with Coach Smith was Friday afternoon because it gave her time to digest his lesson over the weekend and to think about how she wanted to put into practice what she was learning. Although she knew the people on her team, she had to admit to herself that she didn’t know them well. She’d been so focused on productivity that becoming friends was an afterthought. 

She decided it would be good to do a little research before Monday. She dug into social media accounts to see what she could find out. It was eye-opening for her to see snippets of people’s lives outside the office. She learned several things about each person that she could either directly relate to or would show genuine interest about. 

Monday rolled around and Pat made sure she was in the office earlier than usual. As people strolled in she made it a point to set aside her work, something that was unfamiliar to her, in order to engage with each person and ask about their weekend. Truthfully, it was a little awkward for everybody because this was out of character for Pat. To her credit, she made it a point each day to tear herself away from her desk and talk with people. By the end of the week she found herself looking forward to those short conversations.

Over the weekend Pat had also given thought to the tension she had noticed between Kim and Stan. There was a new learning project coming up for the marketing department so she decided this would be an opportunity to put Kim and Stan together to work on it. She made it clear to each of them individually, then together, that success would depend on them working closely with one another. That’s because each possessed certain talents the other didn’t but were necessary for the overall success of the project. It would take time to see the results of this little experiment but she was confident given how it worked for her basketball team all those years ago.

She also made it a point to give praise when people did something noteworthy. This too felt unusual because, as a former athlete, her attitude was, “Just do It!” But, she reflected on how praise from Coach Smith impacted her and the other players on the team so she knew it was the right thing to do. 

When giving genuine praise she noticed how it impacted her just as much as the person who received the compliment. First, the more she offered praise, the easier it was to find more praiseworthy things about each person. She also noticed that when she gave praise she found herself liking and appreciating her team more. This was an unexpected surprise.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and building strong relationships takes time but when Friday morning rolled around Pat was more excited about work than she had been in years. She looked forward to reporting back to Coach that afternoon and was eager for the next lesson!


  1. And Now for Something Completely Different
  2. Coach’s Lesson on Liking
  3. Game Time for Pat
  4. Coach’s Lesson on Reciprocity
  5. Tis Better to Give
  6. A Lesson on Peer Pressure
  7. Putting Peer Pressure to Work at Work
  8. A Trusted Expert
  9. Becoming a Respected Leader
  10. Ask, Don’t Tell if You Want Commitment
  11. Less Directive
  12. Wins and Losses
  13. Don’t be a Downer
  14. Self-sacrifice
  15. Pay it Forward

Brian Ahearn, CPCU, CTM, CPT, CMCT

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE. An author, TEDx speaker, international trainer, coach, and consultant, he’s one of only a dozen people in the worldpersonally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His follow-up, Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents, was an Amazon new release bestseller. His new book, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness, is a business parable.

Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by more than 400,000 people around the world.


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