Slytherin 101: How to Win Friends and Influence People


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Do you wish that you were better at getting people to do what you need them to do? Do you keep getting put in charge of things and then get stuck wondering how the heck you're supposed to get things done? Do you keep getting into conflicts with other people because of stuff you've said, and you aren't entirely sure why?

Fortunately, Slytherin House has you covered. Come to this talk and learn the basics of how to hack human relationships, using the tools of cunning and ambition to achieve inter-House harmony. As long as you promise not to use these techniques to support the next Dark Lord, of course.

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  • Or perhaps in Slytherin You'll make your real friends, Those cunning folks use any means To achieve their ends. // And power-hungry Slytherin loved those of great ambition.
  • The Only Competent Person, The Rational One, The Caring One, The Champion, The Smartest Person In The Room, etc
  • Slytherin 101: How to Win Friends and Influence People

    1. 1. Slytherin 101 Denise Paolucci Dreamwidth Studios slides at:
    2. 2. Positive traits •Cunning •Ambitious •Clever •Rational
    3. 3. Negative traits •Overly complex •Manipulative •Self-centered •“Rational”
    4. 4. “A Gryffindor will jump off acliff.A Slytherin will pushsomeone else off.A Hufflepuffwill call in five hundred otherHufflepuffs, and they'll carve astairway.And a Ravenclaw willget hold of a flying carpet.”Transfigurations, by Resonant
    5. 5. “Smart kids in Ravenclaw, evil kids in Slytherin, wannabe heroes in Gry ndor, andffi everyone who does the actual work in Hu epu .”ffl ff Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, by EliezerYudkowsky
    6. 6. What a Slytherin wants • Power: having your decisions respected • Influence: having your wishes respected • Optimization: exert the minimum effort necessary to achieve your goals • Subtlety: keep attention on your goals and accomplishments, not on your methods
    7. 7. The route to achieving all those goals:
    8. 8. People
    9. 9. People are complicated
    10. 10. And have no manual
    11. 11. But there are basic rules • We are social creatures • Our brains lie to us • We fixate on things • Even when we’re aware of the bugs in our brains, it’s incredibly hard to patch them
    12. 12. Also, we are vulnerable to cute things.
    13. 13. DISCLAIMER: Don’t be evil. Don’t be evil. A lot of these techniques can be readily abused.
    14. 14. People tell themselves stories • People are the heroes of their own stories • It’s easier to work inside someone’s story than to work against it • Stories can change over time • Sometimes people’s stories don’t mesh with their actions; believe the story
    15. 15. Communication styles • “Ask”/“Guess”, direct/indirect, qualified/confident, receptive/absolutist, and more • Gendered, classed, geographic/dialectical • When dealing with a mismatch: set expectations, raise awareness
    16. 16. Using communication styles • To establish rapport, match styles • To perform confidence, go slightly more direct • To perform authority, go much more direct • Not matching expectations can backfire
    17. 17. Build up relationships • Spend time doing “social lubricant” • Keep track of people as individuals • Be human (and vulnerable) with people • Authenticity > constructed persona
    18. 18. Rules for mediating disputes • Don’t get in between the sides if the conflict hasn’t stopped yet • Don’t side with each person against the other • Look for points of empathy, but don’t fake them
    19. 19. Getting Commitment • Some of these can be Dark Arts; use sparingly and with mindfulness • People hate saying ‘no’ to a direct request: ask someone personally, and tell them why • People hate looking bad: get the commitment in front of the group • Give people something or do them a favor before you ask them to do something
    20. 20.