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    Hope you enjoy the webinar later. Please ask any questions and share your experiences here!

    You can view the webinar recording and slides



    Yeah, that film thing wouldn’t work with my wife…she would reject Lord of the Rings and Transformers in equal measure.



    I’m fine, good thanks…what about a “How are you” in return…again a reciprocative relationship



    I enjoyed that…and the slides were great. 🙂


    Really enjoyed your presentation Dan. Thanks very much for sharing your experiences. 🙂
    It’s good to remember that “non-testers” are human too and may reciprocate to our acts of kindness.
    It was good to be reminded that a tester’s life doesn’t always have to be a prolonged, pitched battle with developers!



    Haha! Good point. What’s her most hated film? Use that… Unless it happens to be lord of the rings? lol


    Thanks for an illistrative presentation. 🙂 It seems to me that all boils down to basic social skills. Most of what you mentioned are generally how you should behave anyway, except the manipulative reject/retreat. Although I be everyone has used that.

    Another influencing technique is the sympathy and flattery. Not sure that’s the right term. e.g. you are sinking and asking for the help fo the one person you know who can help the most. Or that’s what you tell them to get them to want to help out of pride. That works for me with some more awkward people.



    Thanks. I was hoping the slides weren’t too childish ( My drawing skills are not even up to a 4 year old’s standards 🙂 )



    I’m not sure to be honest…I tried to get her to watch Goldfinger and any of the Star Wars films. She just fell asleep.

    Anyway Dan, Influence…a great topic. Something I have always found it hard to get a handle on despite being pretty confident speaker. Not the same really is it. Sometimes it requires as much of an ability to listen, as it does to talk. Can you respond to what you hear and take in effectively…are you then able to use that information to allow other people to make favourable choices, either in your favour, or in the favour of your team, group or company. Lots to think about.



    This webinar was interesting, thanks for the insight. I would like to know how to avoid getting manipulated as well. I guess I’ll have to pick up that book.



    Sympathy and flattery! I like it!
    I can see that one working for Senior Management a lot 😉


    Your drawings are much better than I could do. I have to rely on clip art.



    @Ina, I feel that being aware of these influence techniques does kind of help in knowing when you are being influenced.


    I’ve had good success with ‘Sympathy and Flattery’ on my team members who think they know it all and don’t think what they are being asked to do is the best use of their skills. i.e. the what do you know, I know better types. Funny how the right approach and the most painfull battle becomes a sweet success.
    Anything to grease the wheels, get the job done and make everyone feel like they won.



    “Funny how the right approach and the most painfull battle becomes a sweet success” – I really like this statement!


    Really liked those slides. Real eye-catcher and made me keep looking around the slides.

    I really like the “cup of tea”-strategy. My strategy is to make the devs come to my place for a chat. I have put a bowl with sweets on my desk.

    How are you? My answer is mostly: “Thanks, I can’t complain enough.” Opens the door for others to complain about their situation, too, and you get their real feelings. Which is important, because I mostly communicate via phone or messenger with my colleagues, so I don’t see if their heads are hanging low. So with a negative opener, you get a better insight on how they really feel. At least this is, what I am experiencing around here.

    Thanks for the webinar. Nice collection of topics, and brought back several topics I learned and already forgot on those softskill webinars. But I have to admit, all techniques you presented are useful in daily communication. Be it testing or choosing the TV program. 🙂



    I’m trying to get others in my team to get interested in working with some security testing techniques…its very hard to do, because there is a certain amount of fear attached.

    I’d like to be able to give others more confidence to be able to do that, to be able to understand the responses from the system, how to use certain techniques and tools….giving training isn’t enough if they aren’t then being put into practice.

    Day to day influence is proving quite challenging in this area.


    @Ina My wife made a mistake once of telling me all about the influencing course she did. Once she told me about it she found it very difficult to get me to do anything as I just laughed when she tried the techniques on me. Not nastily of course, just found it funny.

    There is a skill to be learnt, not just in the techniques, but how to be subtle and not let on that the influenced is being influnced.
    That’s why having a number of techniques is good, you can switch it about when someone notices.


    I had developer on my team years ago who wouldn’t accept any form of critisism. I figured out that in order to not just have him on his defences I had to present the issues I found as “I’m sorry to disturb you, but I feel so stupid right now, and I think you’ll be able to help me. In the spec it says AAA but in the software BBB happens and I don’t think A and B are the same, are they?” And then he’d discover himself that there was a bug in his code and fix it. I guess this is a variation of Sympathy/Flattery.
    If I just filed a bug he’d refuse to accnowledge that it was there at all, he even rejected bugs I filed about complete software failures (equivalents of blue screens in windows) as “according to specification”.



    Thanks Patrick!

    I like your idea with the bowl of sweets. That’s brilliant!

    Thats an interesting angle with your answer to “how are you?”. That perspective would be great to relax the situation too, and to stem honesty in the rest of the conversation.

    You are completely right regarding these techniques being used in daily conversation. It definitely isn’t just for testers. Anybody in any career would benefit from these techniques and skills.
    I’m finding that my fiance is starting to learn though… is there a limit to how many times I can get away with watching movies that she doesn’t like using this technique? 😀


    @Dan, I’ve been in the same situation, trying to get people into security testing. I found that where confidence is a poblem, providing a safe environment to experiment on, and one where people are not blamed but able to turn a mistake into a lesson learned, helped a lot. Also find a couple of people that are less worried and focus time and effort on them. The sheep principle will then apply: If 1 or 2 team members take the plunge and are successful, or at least not in trouble, the rest start to follow.

    Sheep principle is probably not the right term either, to derogitory. I can do that sometimes, never meant that way, but I was brought up with an old school family and old school ways of putting things.



    @anna, I used to have that same problem, purely because the developers had the misconception that I was there to scrutinise their work and pull them up for making mistakes… With these developers, my resolution was to organise going out for a meal and some drinks, where I could have casual conversations and get to know them and they could get to know me and see that I wasnt a threat.

    When we broke down the barrier and started to build relationships, I was then able to dispel the misconceptions that they had about what testers do and what testing is. And they became much more receptive to me logging bugs and approaching them with questions.



    @stephen – SOCIAL PROOF! yey!



    Sheep/Lemmings…yeah, I can understand the thinking there.

    But we are thinking, critical people. Does it make us influencers or manipulators? What is the difference? Is it the motivation behind it?


    I am a first time huddler (is that a word?)

    We were 3 testers watching the webinar together. It was absolutely great and music to our ears. We work with a variety of developers from all round the world, all with different cultures.
    We actually have a tea corner here in a large shared office (English tea is provided, and our colleagues from around the world started bringing in their tea from their countries – no one said anything , is it just growing). It is a great talking point and is our version of the water cooler. Trouble is we now need a bigger corner… and some more comfy chairs to sit and drink the tea together.

    Thanks for the great presentation. It was short but directly to the point. A picture tells a thousand words.

    By the way do you do testing from the pub? (I noticed something on your last slide about testing in the pub…. )

    Thanks again
    Mandy (AKA Tea Corner Manager)



    @Dan, well it depends on how you are approaching it and for what purpose…
    If you are influencing, then you can do it delicately with good communication and being non-offensive. But with manipulation, even the word, has that feel of maliciousness to it, where you are using it for “evil”.

    They are both different because of the context of when you would use them. Thats what I believe…


    Influencing v Manipulating: in my mind the difference is how much you are guiding a choice v changing someones mind.
    e.g. The example in the Social Proofing. The person influenced hadn’t decided to say no, you just guided them to agree with you. Influenced
    In the Reject/Retreat, she didn’t want to watch Lord of the Rings. Manipulated

    But that’s my opinion. And I’m sure the partner would agree she was manipulated not influenced 🙂



    @Mandy – Thanks for your comment! And welcome to the test huddle 🙂

    I love the sound of your set up with your tea corner! It’s an investment that is well worth it!
    At my office there is just a big shared kitchen, but I tend to try and syncronise my breaks with the people that I need to work with that day.
    I might pitch the idea for a tea corner now though 🙂

    testinginthepub.co.uk is my podcast series that I co-host with Stephen Janaway. Its topics all about testing, where we usually ramble for 20-30 minutes and we’ve also interviewed some great testers too. You should have a listen! 🙂


    @Dan That might have worked with this guy too. He didn’t find it as hard to listen to the others on the project, and it’s hard to tell if he wouldn’t listen to me because I was the only tester on the team, or if it was because I was the only girl and also the youngest member of the team.



    @anna, That’s interesting. Its great to think about the different possibilities in perspectives around what the problem might be with the person.
    The influence techniques will apply to each of them too.

    My suggestion would be to use any of the techniques to break down the barrier. Listen and learn to what that developer is interested in and talk about that to build up a rapport/relationship. Then pull that relationship over to the work side of things. Once the respect and relationship is there, the developer wont turn it off just because its work…

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