Who’s The Boss?

It’s another edition of Tater After Dark! Very exciting! The title of this one is misleading, but I couldn’t come up with anything better for the post topic.

On a show I was watching recently someone asked for advice on how to get the trust of a group of people. The advice was to find the person who is the “glue’ and get their trust and the rest will follow. I thought the writers are wrong about who the glue is on the show, but that’s another post. It is good advice though and I’ve seen it in action several times.

When I started working at the jail there were officers who were slow to warm up to me as the new librarian. I don’t know why. I have such a sparkling personality. It’s a mystery, but it happened. Some didn’t seem to like me at all. Some were just indifferent. It stayed that way for a while, but then one day one of the officers from that group must have been bored and came in to the library to talk to me. They then started doing that more often. Soon, most of the officers seemed to warm up to me. It might have just been that I had been there long enough that they accepted me, but I think what really did it was the right person from the group deciding I was OK.

I saw it in the jail with inmates. One very obvious case: there was an inmate who was constantly asking legal questions and then arguing with me about the answers. He thought he was smarter than me and was very difficult to deal with. A new inmate moved in to his cell block and started coming to the library. He discovered I was a big sports fan and would talk to me a lot about sports when he was in the library. Soon after, the jailhouse lawyer guy was not as difficult and soon stopped coming to the library. I think in this case the new guy was obviously had some sort of power in the ranks of the inmates and the other guy didn’t want to cross him by bothering the librarian he chatted with regularly. I didn’t question it. I just enjoyed the quiet.

I’ve seen groups of friends with an obvious “leader” where new people had no chance of being liked and accepted by the group if the leader does not like them. Members of the group risk being out if they cross the leader. It seems the advice on the show was good advice. A group is more likely to accept you if you are accepted by their leader.

Do you see this in your life? At work? With your friends? Is it just me?

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