Our friends, coworkers, family, and the media influence us every day. Even strangers can get us to do things on a regular basis. The ability to influence others is powerful. Imagine if you had a greater ability to influence your children, spouse, neighbors, and coworkers. It’s much easier to get things done with the assistance of others.
Influence others and gain more control over your life:
1. Be trustworthy. When others trust you, they’re much easier to influence. Whom would you follow – the person that you trust or the person that you don’t trust? There are many ways to build trust.
- Tell the truth. Lying is the quickest and easiest way to destroy trust.
- Be consistent. The employee that’s always prepared and on time is deemed to be trustworthy.
- Follow through. Do what you say you’re going to do.
2. Be an expert. A doctor is much more likely to influence your health decisions than your mechanic is. However, you’re more likely to believe your mechanic than your doctor regarding your car. It’s all a matter of expertise. We trust experts more than non-experts.
3. Give before you receive. There’s a human tendency to reciprocate. We feel much more obligated to return a favor than to provide a favor up front.
- Salespeople are experts at taking advantage of this phenomenon. Companies will often give away something at no cost. They know you’ll feel a sense of obligation to make a purchase later.
4. Focus on emotions. You don’t buy a particular coat because it’s the most thermally efficient at a given price point. You bought your last coat because it fulfilled a physical need, and the thought of wearing that particular coat felt good emotionally.
- Emotions ultimately drive people. Give someone a reason to feel good about helping you or following your lead.
5. It’s tough to get what you want if you can’t ask for what you desire in an assertive manner. Asking also implies that you have the right to ask in that situation. Bravely ask for what you want. The number of people willing to accommodate you will surprise you.
6. Focus on the benefits. People are interested in their own benefits. It’s great that you’ll be happy, but they wonder what’s in it for them. Ensure they understand how their compliance will benefit them. Others will do just about anything for a sufficient reward.
7. Make friends first. The famous book, “Make Friends and Influence People” had it right. Make friends and then influence people. If you try to influence a non-friend, they know you’re just trying to use them, and your job will be much tougher. A friend is willing to do something for you. A non-friend is primarily interested in their own benefits.
8. Ask for more than you actually need. There are two advantages to this approach. Your request might be granted. If not, the other person feels uncomfortable after refusing you. By scaling back your second request, you’re much more likely to receive a “yes”.
- If you ask a casual acquaintance for a ride to the airport on the other side of town, you’re likely to be denied. But if you follow up that refusal with a request for a ride to the store 3 miles away, you’ll almost certainly be successful.
Influencing others is a science. There is a tremendous amount of research on this field. Influencing others effectively can boost your charisma, authority, and bank account. The most influential people in the world are also the most powerful.