An Exercise in Awareness
I have to confess, I’m not always the most aware guy and this occasionally bites me in my marriage. Many years ago I went to a “gallery hop” art show with my wife. Not exactly my cup of tea but I was trying to be the dutiful husband and act interested. When I saw a painting style I recognized (Monet) I said to Jane, “We have a painting by that guy don’t we?” She said, “We have that painting.” Surprised I replied, “Really?” Jane proceeded to tell me the painting was at the top of the stairs in our house…and had been there about three years! Ooops! Better keep my mouth closed next time.One of my favorite questions to ask when training is this, “Has anyone bought a new car in the past couple of years?” As you would expect there are usually several people who raise their hand. Then I pick someone for a simple follow up question, “What kind of car did you get?”Let’s suppose they say, “I bought a Ford Mustang.” Next I’ll ask, “After you bought the car, did you notice more Mustangs on the road in the days and weeks following your purchase?” You know the answer to that question, a resounding yes. I’ve never had someone tell me they didn’t notice their new car on the road more after getting it.What do you suppose changed? Could it be that there just happened to be a rush on Mustangs at that moment in time? Of course not! The only thing that changed was the buyers’ awareness of that type of car. I use that simple truth to get them to realize they get what they look for.How does this tie into influence? In two basic ways. First, your lack of awareness when it comes to the principles of influence means you’re missing opportunities that could help you hear that one word we all long for when making requests of other people – “Yes!”The more you come to understand the principles of reciprocity, liking, consensus, authority, consistency, and scarcity the more you’ll become aware of all the opportunities to ethically use them when interacting with people. With enough practice you’ll even find yourself using them almost without thinking.The second way awareness ties into influence is protection. That’s right, protection. Let’s face it, there are lots of people out there who understand this stuff but may not be constrained by ethics. I bet every one of you reading this can think of a time where a salesman manipulated you to buy something. Or maybe unethical influence was used on you by someone who took advantage of you in a relationship. What do you think about politicians and manipulation?My point is this; there are many people out there whose livelihood depends on getting you and others like you to say yes. It’s a sad fact that many more than we’d like to admit will do whatever they can to move ahead. Your understanding of the principles of influence is a first line of defense from being taken advantage of.I hope this was an enlightening little experiment for you; an “ah ha” moment perhaps. If you continue to read Influence PEOPLE I guarantee your eyes will be open to new possibilities and you’ll be more aware when it comes to those who seek to take advantage of you. Brian
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”
In my limited experience those who are powerful influencers are highly aware of the minute details going on around them.