There are many tips and tricks for influencing others – a good source is Robert Cialdini’s classic book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Rather than try to learn all of them at once you may prefer to use a simpler way to discover what works uniquely for you, because there’s a lot to remember and you may not be comfortable using some of the sneakier tricks.
(The sneakier tricks are still worth knowing about though, because you will be able to recognise when someone is trying to use them on you!)
Here’s the method:
1. Make sure you are absolutely believe in your message
If you are not 100% congruent about what you are saying, change it until you are!. Make your vision as clear and vivid as you can.
2. How successful are you currently at influencing?
Rate your success level on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is the least successful you have ever been and 10 is how you will be when you are at the level of successful influencing that you want to reach. This is not an objective scale – your “2” might be someone else’s “8” or vice versa.
3. Acknowledge what’s already working
Notice how you got to the number (“n“) you’ve reached, and how you stop yourself slipping back to n minus one. This is what’s working already in your approach. What would happen if you did more of it?
4. What would be different at n+1?
How would you notice if you were just one step closer to being a great influencer? What conditions would be in place? What would you be doing differently? Don’t worry at this point about how you will get there.
5. What will you do to get there?
This is about doing more of what works, or just trying out some of the many influence tips out there. You could try them out in “safe” situations like shops, and even push your comfort zone a little. When something works, do more of it: when something doesn’t turn out how you wanted or expected, ask yourself “What do I need to learn from this?”
Note: Imagine how you could also use this method to improve your performance in any area…
© 2007, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.