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  • Adam Walter

Identifying Human Behavior: Finding The Game Of The Scene

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Listen: Humanize IT Podcast Blog Ep 123

Welcome to the final episode of our Improvised Intelligence series with Gina Trimarco from Pivot 10! For the grand finale, we’re taking a deeper dive into human psychology to identify why people react to certain behaviors, as well as how you can use that to your advantage in the business world.

In improv, this practice is called “finding the game of the scene,” which is jargon for pointing out exactly what got people to laugh, groan, smile, etc. From a performer standpoint, it’s important to pay attention to not only when the audience laughs, but why. It eventually becomes a sort of game that goes back and forth with the actors and the crowd. The more positive reactions you receive, the quicker you win.

When applying this in business and IT, it all comes down to building trust by picking up on certain behaviors of your colleagues and using them to your advantage. If you can identify and understand these patterns, then pivot your mannerisms to meet them where they are based on their reactions, the result is a stronger relationship.

On the other hand, people also come to expect certain patterns from you. After a while, they learn what you find funny, what makes you upset, your likes and dislikes — and it’s up to you to have enough self-awareness to read those cues. Of course, you always want to stay true to yourself, but if you’re trying to get your way in business, you may suppress some behaviors while bringing others to center stage, based on who you’re trying to please.

For example, one of Adam’s flaws is often being too irreverent and not taking life too seriously when vCIOs and IT professionals expect him to be stoic. Well, stoicism isn’t really “him,” so that’s one subjective flaw he doesn’t work to correct because it would compromise the person he truly wants to be. His punctuality problem, on the other hand, is a personality flaw that he actively tries to fix.

So, have an honesty hour with yourself: what are some of your flaws? Which ones do you strive to suppress and which ones do you embrace and say, “Nope, sorry. This is me!”

Observing and understanding both your own and others’ behavior is a huge part of emotional intelligence. Watch how people act, then stay intentionally aware of those traits in yourself. When this occurs, you reach improvised intelligence, meaning you can make people look and feel good by finding out how they work and what they need.

We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated. But, guess what: you and others don’t always want to be treated the same way. The much harder concept to grasp is the Platinum Rule: treat others how THEY want to be treated. It takes more effort, but yields more positive results. People love knowing you’ve taken the time to truly get to know how they operate.

To wrap up, the most important takeaway from this series is to “find the other person’s win” when playing the game of business. The more thought you put into making your coworkers, clients and colleagues look great, the better that will reflect on you. You’ll be able to persuade people in your direction while still forming genuine relationships based on trust.

This time, Gina brought up a Win of the Week, rather than a fail. She tried everything she could to have someone who was a “celebrity salesman” in her eyes to appear as a guest on her podcast. After finding a solution through studying his behavior, he agreed. What finally did the trick? Listen to find out!

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