Influence is the power to affect people or events, the capacity to be compelling. With influence, you can achieve your goals and win in your business. Without it, you will be frustrated and upset, tired and apathetic about how the world affects you. In short, influence is the bridge between where you are now and the life of your dreams.
Think for a moment about something you got that you had wanted for a long time. Think of another example of something you achieved that you had wanted for a long time. What do these two things have in common? You had to communicate and influence to get them. None of us can achieve anything in life without communication and influence.
Think now of something that you would like to have. Why haven’t you gotten it yet? What if you knew the right person or event to influence? What if you knew the key to influencing any person to achieve any outcome you wanted? How valuable would this information be to you? Read on to discover the factors of influence.
First, let’s start with some basics of communication. As much as you might not like to hear it, other people are different from you. Their perceptions are not the same as yours. As a result, you have to make a concerted effort to understand them and their points of view. Without this basic knowledge, you will get nowhere in influencing others. Others know if you are spending the time and effort to understand them. Take the time. Make the effort. This is the most basic first step of influence.
If you are uncertain about how to do this, try first by asking some basic questions of the person in the area you are discussing. For example, if you are attempting to influence your boss to give you a promotion, ask some questions about the budget and the future outlook of the company. Find out what he thinks about the company and the outlook for the next year. With this step, simply try to achieve understanding. Do not ask for anything yet.
After you have taken some time to understand the person you are trying to influence, try next to develop some admiration for the person. Find something you can like about him or her. Expand on that as much as possible. If your boss loves the same type of music you do, get the idea that you really agree on this topic and expand on it as much as possible. A quick warning: you will occasionally run across someone who does not respond well to admiration. Although this is more difficult, it can be overcome with some customized help. If you have encountered this situation, get some help from HR or a coach.
Keep in mind that the development of admiration starts first with you. It has to be genuine and you have to develop it yourself. If you find that you have a hard time creating admiration for others, you may also have a hard time influencing others. If this is the case for you, seek out some help for your critical nature. This cynicism could be your downfall. If on the other hand, you find it easy to create admiration for others, you are well on your way to getting whatever you want.
Your next step is to achieve certainty about what you want. Again, this is an internal step. Set your mind about what you want. Any doubt you have will show up in your communication to others. Root it out. Once your mind is set, start getting agreement from others about what you want. Say it is true. Explain how it can be true. Remind yourself and others daily that it is true. Spread the word about it. If you are going for a promotion, start acting as though you already have that position. Yes, you should use some caution on this that you don’t step on any toes. The most important part is the mental step of internal certainty. If you can follow this with a skillful use of communication to get others to subtly see you as already in possession of what you want, you are home free.
To sum it up, influence starts with you and your mental state. How much do you like others? Can you listen to them? Can you understand other viewpoints? Can you make up your own mind that you will achieve something? If so, you are well on your way to influencing others. Start close to home and you will find it easier and easier to expand your sphere of influence.