I’ve been thinking about my “worldview” lately so I’ll pose this question to you, “What’s your worldview?” When I think of the term “worldview,” I think about how people try to make sense of what they observe others doing. I’m a pretty religious person and I have a worldview that first and foremost centers around my Christian faith. My faith colors perception of the here and now as well as the afterlife. But I also view things through another lens – influence.
Let me explain a bit further. I’m curious about why people do the things they do. I’m also interested in getting people to go along with my ideas and suggestions. Just like you, I want to hear people say “Yes” when I ask them to do something. That person could be my wife, my daughter, a coworker, vendor or the checkout person at the store.
I was working with someone today and we covered material on influence. I told this person about the science behind influence. I didn’t want her to think it was just grandma’s good advice (not that grandma’s advice was bad; she seems to have been right most of the time!) because it was grounded in real life scientific studies. Those studies don’t give me the ability to predict what you or any other person will do in particular situations because we are complex beings with a lifetime of experiences that shape us and our behaviors. But, I can say with certainty that I communicate with confidence and take certain actions because I know my influence approaches will make me more successful on the whole.
There’s more than 60 years of social science to back up my last statement. If you pick up Influence Science and Practice, Yes: 50 Ways Proven Ways to be Persuasive, Maximum Influence or any number of other books on influence and persuasion you’ll see the studies. For example, one restaurant owner saw no shows dropped from 30% to 10% because of two simple words. In another study nearly twice as many people completed a survey because of something they were asked immediately prior to the survey request. Or how about the person who saw a 610% increase in sales because he instructed his salespeople to include some truthful, relevant information!
I can’t tell you how many people will attend your next meeting and I certainly can’t tell you which specific people will say “Yes.” However, I can tell you things to do, and things to avoid, so you’ll know you have the best chance of maximizing attendance. I can’t tell you if you say or do one particular thing that your child will clean her room or your boss will give you a raise. But I can tell you things you can do that will increase the odds of both.
Because I’ve seen the studies and experienced the results personally, I’m a believer! My worldview helps me explain an awful lot of why people do what they do. Not everything can be explained by reciprocity, liking, consensus, authority, consistency and scarcity but I’m amazed by how much can!
Earlier I wrote that a worldview was in essence the lens through which I view much of the world. I remember when I was a teenager getting glasses. I didn’t realize my eyesight was poor until I went to the optometrist. I simply figured everyone saw things the way I did. When I got that first set of glasses – WOW! All of a sudden I could see blades of grass, leaves on trees and so much other detail. I didn’t realize what I was missing. That’s what the lens of influence has done for me. I’m not interested in doing research; I’m interested in understanding it so I can make sense of the world around me and the actions of others. I also enjoy taking the concepts and applying them to different situations to see if they can make me or my coworkers more successful. Now, because of this blog I get an opportunity to go beyond those boundaries. Thanks to Google Analytics, I can see people in nearly 40 countries follow this blog. That excites me!
So I guess this week’s post wasn’t so much about persuasion tips as it was insight into my mind, my worldview. I would like to take this time to say thanks to all of you who read, who’ve commented and who’ve emailed me with questions or to just say how much you’ve enjoyed reading. That means a lot to me and without a doubt makes my day. Keep looking for posts every Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”