Powerful Influencing Skills: The Art Of Making People Want What You Want
The power to influence tends to be highlighted as an ability exclusive among people in authority — something that leaders do to get their followers to do something; or what salesmen do to sell their products. But as social beings we are influenced by people we mingle with everyday just as often as we get to influence others — consciously or unconsciously. Acts of influencing and being influenced happen every day and each of us has a unique way of doing it. It is manifested in mundane acts such as the conduct of our children, our dealings with friends and coworkers, and our relationships with our bosses.
For some it’s a breeze to make others follow them and there are those who are not even conscious of the influence they have on others. On the other extreme side of the spectrum are those who have to resort to power through position, control, manipulation, nagging, and even coercion.
Since the capacity to influence is associated with power, it should be exercised with caution so that there will be no room for abuse. People had and have used it to manipulate, scheme and even to coerce people to buy their products or yield to their agenda or demand. The long list of dictators and false products testify to this. On the other hand are the great influencers who champion the rights of others and uphold principles that benefit many. What kind of influencer are you?
Powerful influencing skill is underpinned by the other social awareness capacities of the emotional intelligence (EI). Conversely, the stronger the EI, the more powerful the influencing skill will be. It acts on the premise that you can’t force people to do what they are not willing to do but you can get them to want what you want by wielding effective tactics for persuasion.
This is why people lacking this competence
- work independently and at times, against the group or other individuals.
- do not leave a positive or memorable impression.
- are ineffective in persuading or convincing others of a common vision and direction.
- do not respond to their audience, even tend to alienate.
- are unable to successfully defend their ideas if challenged.
- fail to inspire confidence or earn respect.
- come across as opinionated and dull.
Persuasion stirs the mind to think and influence translates it into action. People who are effectively influenced don’t just follow to obey or fill in a need. They enthusiastically follow because of a created internal desire to act out of a shared conviction. As the dictionary defines it:
“It is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Ideally it is best to be around or work with people we like but realistically, we thrive in an environment, e.g., our workplaces, where we have to work among people with different personalities, competing objectives and even inter-personal conflicts. People with strong influence skills can live up to this challenge as they also have the capacity to empathise and to communicate. They can strike a purposeful balance between achieving personal goals and maintaining relationships for they
- are skilled at winning people over.
- fine-tune presentations to appeal to the listener.
- use complex strategies like indirect influence to build consensus and support.
- are masterful storytellers, grabbing the attention of others and imparting information that grabs attention and makes people want to hear more.
- orchestrate dramatic events to effectively make a point.
- are able to persuade, convince or impact others to get them to support their agenda.
So how important is having the skill to influence people? Researches have proven that the power of influence has far-reaching effects on personal endeavours and business progress. It is now considered as crucial in navigating through the current social and business environment where the ability to positively influence others is key to success.
As social beings, we all have this capacity to influence others. We are born with it for even the shrill cries of our infancy influenced our parents to frantically come to our aid. Now as adults, we can hone this capacity to be more productive in our relationships and be more effective in selling our ideas. You can start with the following tips:
- Identify influence opportunities; discuss influencing strategies with others (especially those who are skilled at influence); listen and be open to learning new approaches to communicating with others about these opportunities.
- Learn how to develop a rapport with others so they will be more open to communications.
- Know when to be assertive, when to make suggestions and when to ask questions.
- Identify what motivates others, and craft a message that appeals to those motivations.
- Be clear about the object of influence, and plan messages ahead of time.
- Develop ways of expressing what to say at key points in an influencing conversation.
- Frame messages to appeal to and to make sense to the other person.
- Consider in advance what some objections might be, and how it might be overcome.
- Use data, statistics, and endorsements from credible, respected authorities to help make the case.
- Make thinking transparent – there are undoubtedly good reasons for the proposal.
We don’t have to focus on imagining how we could influence the world for this could stifle and prevent us from acting on what is possible for us to do at the moment. We all have our own sphere of influence which we can impact. Let us not sulk in a corner nor content ourselves with following others and just letting things happen. Let’s start with our families, among our friends, and in our workplaces; and from there, who knows, life might just give us the chance to impact the world.
“There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” – Brian Tracy
Do you take this as a great challenge on your part? Our team of experts can help you hurdle obstacles that may come your way as you take on this journey to making your life a powerful influence. Contact us today.