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Influencers from Around the World – I Can vs I Did

Most of you long time readers of Influence PEOPLE know Hoh Kim because of his many guest posts to the Influencers from Around the World series. Hoh is also a Cialdini Method Certified Trainer (CMCT) and has his masters in communication from Marquette University. You can find out more about Hoh by visiting his website, The Lab h, and his blog, Cool Communications. You can connect with Hoh on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter
Brian, CMCT 
influencepeople 

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

I Can vs. I Did 

What
are the key differences between more influential people and less influential
people?

I
participated in the Principles of Persuasion (POP) workshop in 2005. Then, I was trained by Dr. Robert Cialdini to be Cialdini Method Certified Trainer (CMCT) in 2008. Since then I have facilitated the two-day (16 hours) POP workshop more than 20 times. Sometimes, I meet some of the past participants of my workshop and discuss how they have used the principles of influence.
People
who participate in the POP workshop learn the scientific research and practical
application of the six principles of influence, which come from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s lifetime research. Even people who never participated in the workshop or read his book would be familiar with one or some of the Cialdini’s principles, like scarcity; people want more of what they can have less of, or authority, which says that people defer to experts.
But still, even after learning all the principles and tools, there are differences and some people become much more influential while others don’t. What makes the differences?
I
came to realize there are two types (or levels) of “educated” people: those who say, “I can do it,” vs. those who can say, “I did it.”
  1. “I can do it.”
  2. People get various sources of influence/persuasion; from books, advice from experts, school, seminars or workshop like POP, and so on. Let’s assume that you read the right books, got the right advice, and attended the right classes, seminars, or workshops on influence and persuasion. Once people learn the principles and techniques, they are in the level of “I can do it.” This is a level of possibilities and knowledge. For example, all the POP workshop participants can reach this level. Education and training can put the knowledge into your head but you need more than just that in order to become more influential. You have to move from “I can do it” to “I did it.”

  1. “I did it.”
  2. Over and over, year after year, I found that previous participants of my workshop who have reported they became much more influential and negotiated better outcomes for themselves share one important factor. They said “I did what I learned – at least one or some of the principles and techniques.” These people are in the level of practice (not just possibilities) and action (not just knowledge). They not only have the knowledge in their heads but they actually take actions with their hands.

Less Influential
More Influential
I
can do it
I
did it
Knowledge
Action
Possibilities
Practices
Head
Hand
The
last slide of my POP workshop says, “All know the ways, few actually walk it.” This is a quote from Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century. The more I think about this quote, the more I come to believe its truth. For example, I know how to lose weight; i.e., eat less, exercise more. But, simply knowing that doesn’t mean I walk the way.
These
days, we can learn all those “ways” from the Internet and skip school, seminars and workshops. In most cases, the reason we fail to do something is not because we don’t know the way, but because we don’t walk the way we know.
So,
here’s a little tip for all of us as we are approaching Christmas and year-end. This is the opportunity to “practice” the principles of liking and reciprocity.
  1. Allocate at least one “uninterrupted” half-day in December (I allocated two full days for this).
  2. Review your calendar/schedules or business cards/your contact list. Select 30-50 people you really want to thank in the year of 2012.
  3. Write
    down short messages via cards, emails, or even text messages for them. You have to be specific in what you thank them for, not just “thank you for your help!” Praise them as appropriate. For some of the people, you can send little gifts.

For
the year 2013, let us “walk the way” not just “know the way.” 

Hoh, CMCT

Group Dynamics and Influencing People

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions below on the comments link or direct to her email address: adrienne.carlson1@gmail.com.

A close friend and I had a discussion recently about how much of an effect our formative years have on the way we think and act as adults. We debated about the lasting influence the choice of school and college can have on a child. And although we found ourselves agreeing that the kind of education we had did in some way contribute to the kind of people we are today, we also realized that there were others who had the same education that we did, but who have totally different interests and attitudes in life today.

This made me wonder about the composition of a group and the influence that it has on each of us, and vice versa. Every group has a mix of people who are subject to common factors and in a similar environment at a point of time. But each of its members turn out differently and use (or choose not to use) their education and experience in different ways. Some are influencers and the rest become the influenced. The power factor may swing like a pendulum at times, but at any given time, there is always a set of a few people who influence the rest of the crowd.

Now if you have been an influencer from your early days because of your popularity, you don’t really want to give up your authoritative status. But you must realize that your influence is based only the group that you are with at present. If you change groups, either of your own will or because you’re forced to, the dynamics change and you must reorient yourself to suit the new group’s needs and priorities. And even though you’re used to being the influencer in your previous group, you may not have as much influence as you would like in your new group because there may be people who are more powerful than you. So to become an influencer, you need to get among the top few in the group.

Very few people have what it takes to be influencers, no matter how many groups we change. But for most of us, we have to try really hard to change our status with every group change we make. We may be popular or high achievers in school, but when we move to college, it takes time and effort to achieve the same kind of influence that we enjoyed in our younger days. It may even be the other way round – people who are nobodies in high school go on to do really well in college or later life.

The point is, no matter how much of an influence you currently have on people and situations, the dynamics keep changing within the context of the group. New people come in and old ones go out, and with each change, it is important that you realign yourself to fit in with the interests of the current group. This constant evolution is what makes you a truly influential person, one who can get people to follow your leadership without saying no.

Brian
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”