I was watching an interview with MVP Patrick Mahomes on the Netflix docuseries “Quarterback” and almost fell off the couch when he said that he purposely compliments the defensive linemen who tackle him. If you watch it, you’ll see film clips of him telling the guys who just sacked him, “Nice job!” Mahomes admitted that this is an intentional strategy to “make friends” with the other team’s defensive linesmen. Why would he do that?
MAHOMES WANTS THE OPPOSITION TO LIKE HIM.
Not sure if Mahomes knows it, but he is leveraging the Liking Influence Principle established by Dr. Robert Cialdini. By complimenting his tacklers, this MVP quarterback is making it harder for the defensive line to have the intension to harm him. Yes, they will tackle him, but as he says, they have a lot of options on how hard and where they hit him. They also have options on what they do to him after the sack, particularly if they land on top of him.
Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Calais Campbell says that Mahomes is absolutely right… and he should know because Campbell is credited with 99 sacks and 237 quarterback hits during his career. He says there are some quarterbacks, like Mahomes, who are respectful, and others who taunt the defensive linesmen with “trash talk.” Guess who gets hit the hardest?
HOW DO YOU TREAT YOUR OPPOSITION?
At some time in our careers, most of us have taken some “hits” from people who aren’t supportive of our success. What if we suppressed the urge to hit back, and instead, we were respectful and nice to them?
If you’ve ever tried this, how did this influence their attitude and behavior?