WASHINGTON, April 9, 2018: Dale Carnegie’s 1936 best selling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People is still a great resource today. According to Carnegie, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” In other words, the stronger your influencing skills, the more successful you are likely to be.
When trying to influence others, however, always keep in mind that different people view various situations differently. This may seem obvious. But most of us tend to forget we customarily look at things through our own unique, individual lens. Others may be looking at or hearing the same things. Yet they tend to interpret them quite differently.
As an example, what one person considers enjoyable can turn out to be a serious stressor for someone else.
Some people enjoy public speaking. Others would rather be behind the camera. Asking normally “behind-the-scenes people” to give a public speech might create a lot of stress and worry for them.
Unique belief systems require uniquely honed influencing skills
We all have a unique set of beliefs, values and experiences that shape our behaviors, ideas, and assumptions. Consequently, ability to influence others is also deeply personal. Yet how and what we do in this regard differs widely. That’s because our brains are all mapped differently.
Even our motivators are intrinsic. To be a successful influencer you have to tune into other people. Listen to what they say. Watch what they do. This will allow you to choose the most effective way to affect change in someone’s behavior. Learning to tune in to others is key to sharpening your influencing skills
We all want successful outcomes. In a world that is changing at warp speed, knowing how influence others is a vital skill that can contribute greatly to that successful outcome. Consequently, your influencing skills focus on your ability to ask – and persuade – others to change their behavior, not always an easy task.
You’re asking others to change. But change is something that human beings are wired to resist. Therefore, knowing as much as you can about those you seek to influence, even their cultural identity, gives you a decided edge in the persuasion game.
Key points in “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion”
In his Harvard Business Review article, Harnessing the Science of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini, an influence thought leader, mentions six key influencing skills or behaviors – which he calls “principles” – that are important for influencing others.
The Principle of Liking: People like those who like them.
Focus on similarities with those you want to influence. Develop your relationships by building strong bonds and trustworthiness. This will help when coming across challenges that may arise. In addition, authentically praising someone helps repair strained relationships. It allows others to see you value their personal values and creates a feeling of resonance.
The Principle of Reciprocity: People repay in kind.
Model the behavior you want to see from others, whether it’s in a family situation or at work. If teamwork is a value of yours, show how much you value being a team player. Assist others where you can and contribute what you can for the team.
The Principle of Social Proof: People follow the lead of similar others.
Most of us take our cues on how to act, think, and feel from others. Look at those who exhibit similar values.
The Principle of Consistency: People align with their clear commitments.
You want people to feel committed to what you want them to do. They should voluntarily commit to follow you.
Most people want to appear consistent to others. Have them write down their intentions or verbally commit.
The Principle of Authority: People defer to experts.
Establish your expertise and show others you are capable and competent. You build trust when you give credible information.
The Principle of Scarcity: People want more of what they can have less of.
Sharing information not broadly available is attractive to people. Human nature finds learning about exclusive information intriguing and can build enthusiasm. Be ethical and use integrity.
Have you sharpened your influencing skills lately?
Do you have something coming up where you could use your influencing skills? Kids use them with parents, individual and teams use them in the workplace, personal and business partners use them with each other. Better yet, why not sharpen up your own influencing skills so that your next situation or opportunity becomes a win-win?
Clearly, the best agreements are formed when minds meet in a win-win scenario, and when the interests and needs of both parties are clearly met.
For more Information Contact:
Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Certified Professional Coach Focusing on Confidence & Resilience Strategies and Transition
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039
Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.