In my first post I shared my perspective that Influence is all about PEOPLE. I say that because we don’t try to persuade things. Dale Carnegie had it right when he wrote, “Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you’re in business.” When it comes to PEOPLE I encourage you to think about the about:
Persuade that are
Let’s examine the PEOPLE perspective in more detail today.
Powerful: Who says influence is powerful? Take a look at what a few well known people from history had to say about persuasion.
“Persuasion is often more effective than force.” Aesop
“If I can persuade, I can move the universe.” Frederick Douglass
“Persuasion is the art of getting people to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do if you didn’t ask.” Aristotle
In addition to those intelligent people, today we have more than 60 years of social science, including Dr. Robert Cialdini’s research, to tangibly prove just how powerful persuasion can be.
Everyday: Unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway you interact with people every single day. Quite often in your communication with others you make requests hoping to hear “Yes!” Nobody goes it alone, especially the highly successful. Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO said, “Nearly everything I’ve done in my life has been accomplished through other people.”
Here’s something I love about persuasion; what you’ll learn applies at work with your boss, direct reports, coworkers, vendors and customers. And, it applies equally well at home because influence helps with your parents, significant other, children, neighbors and anyone else you come in contact with.
Opportunities: In virtually every communication you have there will be opportunities for you to do seemingly little things just a bit different and reap big rewards. For example, wouldn’t you be interested to find out what the Cancer Society did to increase their volunteer rate 700% in one area of town or how Easter Seals doubled the number of donors?
Lasting: Sometimes your interaction with another person is “one and done” but quite often it’s an ongoing relationship. In those relationships you don’t want to go back to the drawing board time after time. No, you want to have communications that change people’s thinking and behavior for the long haul.
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower understood the power of persuasion to create a lasting effect when he said, “I would rather persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.”
Ethical: According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary one definition of manipulate is, “to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner” which isn’t so bad and yet another is, “to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.”
Manipulation – the word makes most of us bristle because it connotes taking advantage of another person. I’m confident in writing this next statement – no one likes to be manipulated. I’m reasonably certain the vast majority of people don’t want to be known as manipulators either.
Think about the following quote from The Art of WOO by Richard Shell & Mario Moussa, “An earnest and sincere lover buys flowers and candy for the object of his affections. So does the cad who succeeds to take advantage of another’s heart. But when the cad succeeds, we don’t blame the flowers and candy. We rightly question his character.”
What you will learn about influence and persuasion is powerful stuff and in the wrong hands it can lead to taking advantage of others. But the people who would do that would also try to manipulate others apart for learning persuasion techniques. I’m going to help you see it can be done right, allowing you to keep your self-esteem in tact and your head held high.
I appreciate you taking another step on this journey with me. As always, I welcome your feedback.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.