[1 minute self development]
I was out with a friend celebrating his new job. He was chuffed. No doubt about it, this one was a big step up for him and he was delighted. While we were out, another friend called and offered some advice.
'It's your first day in the office on Monday - go and make the tea for everyone.'
'You heard me, just make a round of teas for the people you work with. You'll see.'
Two days later, I saw my friend again. He was buzzing.
'Wow - that really worked. About half eleven, I made a brew for the whole team. They seemed to warm to me much more after that. One even commented that, "the previous guy would never have done that".'
There've been numerous studies to prove that when we give people something, we're more likely to get something back. Shoppers who've been given a free sample are more likely to buy a product. Your colleague is more likely to invite you to a party if you've already invited him to one of yours. Waiters are more likely to get a tip when they leave a little sweet on the table next to the bill.
The cup of tea is just another gift, and in return you're getting people's trust and approval (as well as, hopefully, a few cups of tea made for you in the future).
Even if the coffee machine is free or you're simply boiling the kettle, your gift is the time and effort it takes to go and fetch the drinks.
There's more techniques like this in Persuade in a Minute.
Follow Tony Wrighton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tonywrighton