Success in business, and outside the workplace, frequently depends on the nature of the relationship. And the nature of that relationship is entirely within the control of – YOU.
Cialdini describes six weapons of influence, of which three relate directly to the relationship between people:
these are important to your success: nobody can do it on their own, we succeed when we can persuade/encourage others to join with us, whether through leadership, coercion, or some other form of persuasion. We "infect" others with our enthusiasm, to work together as a team, else we become part of someone else's plan. If you tend to work on your own, or with an organisation from your last autonomous, then they are just as important to help you get your point of view across, to negotiate well, to win the argument. Unless you are entirely self-sufficient, and on an island then you will always affect or be affected by the people around you.
The key to consistency (one of the three weapons of influence which relates to the relationship between people) is in being pretty well. Extraordinary leaders have made some of their success on being unpredictable, but let's be frank, it doesn't work for the ordinary person in the street. Being consistent, being predictable, fitting the mould – this is what makes people comfortable with you, this not only makes you trustworthy, but it can also help people to like you (other key weapon).
Consistency, fitting the stereotype, will raise people's perception of your competence, and often your authority.>
The difficulty is that in a wonderful egalitarian society, we have different stereotypes of men and women.
Men are expected to be:
woe betide the person who crosses the gender divide.
then you will always affect or be affected by the people around you.
Of course the same applies between the races, between ages, between people of different sexual orientation (if this is even within the workplace), and it is a challenge – it's difficult to have true equality, when people have preconceived ideas of what they expect, and punish those that do not comply with the proper stereotype. Alysia Morga picks up on this in her blog "Why Women Should Flirt at Work"