INSTANT MBA: Always Think People Are Good Until Proven Bad

guy kawasaki

Today’s advice comes from Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and current advisor to Motorola, via LinkedIn:

“There’s an [additional] piece to becoming truly likeable that I’d like to share: default to a “yes” attitude. This means that your default response to requests is “yes.” This doesn’t mean lying, and it’s not a risky practice because most requests at the beginning of a relationship are simple and easy … A “yes” buys time, enables you to see more options, and builds rapport.”

Kawasaki defines good networking as always thinking “yes.” This means thinking about how you can help people when you meet them. By contrast, a “no” response means there’s nowhere to go, and nothing to build on. Better than no, at least, is “not yet.” But “yes”, according to Kawasaki, is always best.

“To make a default ‘yes’ work, you must assume that people are reasonable, honest, and grateful. While everyone isn’t always reasonable, honest, and grateful, the majority are, and you can live your life in one of two ways: thinking that people are bad until proven good or good until proven bad.”

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