By Bob Burg
Every day we are faced with the task of persuading others. Negotiating could be as complex as dealing successfully with a difficult employee or closing the sale with a big client. It might be as mundane as getting your spouse to take out the trash.
And every single day, we face resistance. We might even see the other person as an adversary and tend to resort to coercion and manipulation in an effort to get our way. But this mentality will net only short-term results… if that! Leaving the other person feeling coerced or taken advantage when negotiating of will only cause their resistance in the future and possibly even elicit their sabotage in the present.
There’s a better way. For both immediate and long-term, sustainable results, helping people make decisions that are not only in your best interest, but in alignment with their best interests as well, is the way to go. Doing this effective, consistently, and predictably, however, takes influence.
What is influence?
On a very basic level, influence is simply the ability to move a person (or persons) to a desired action; usually within the context of a certain goal. What it really is, however, is pull. Yes, pull. (I mean, have you ever heard someone say, “Wow, that Karen sure is influential. She has a lot of…push!”? Probably not.)
Great influencers attract people to themselves and to their ideas. They’re able to do this because their focus is on how to best benefit those they are influencing. As a result, these leaders are persuasive in the most positive and benevolent sense of the word.
How can you be an Ultimate Influencer?
- Control your own emotions: Responding calmly rather than allowing your emotions to get the better of you will ensure not putting others on the defensive but rather help them remain open to your ideas.
- Understand the clash of belief systems: Every individual operates based on an unconscious set of beliefs, experiences, and ideas, which are most likely very different from yours. Understand this and you can avoid confusion and numerous misunderstandings that stand in the way of most people’s ability to influence.
- Acknowledge their ego: People want to feel good about themselves; if you make someone genuinely feel good, you’re one step closer to making an ally.
- Set the proper frame: People react and respond to other people. Approach potential conflicts from a position of benevolence, resolution, and helpfulness andthey will follow suit. Vital: being able to reset another’s already existing negative frame.
- Communicate with tact and empathy: While the first four principles are vital, this is what brings it all home. Saying the right thing at the right time makes all the difference in terms of moving people to your side of the issue and taking the appropriate action that benefits all concerned.
The technical skills of any profession are vitally important. Without them, you’re not even in the game. However, even with them, you’re only in the game. Those who have mastered the people skills obtained through the 5 principles of ultimate influence are nine steps ahead in the game…in a 10-step game. Their lives, and their business, are a lot more fun, a lot less stressful, and a lot more profitable.
Bob Burg is the coauthor of The Go-Giver, Go Givers Sell More, and It’s Not About You and the author of Endless Referrals. The Go-Giver was a BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Together, his books have sold more than a million copies. A sought after speaker, Burg presents to corporations and associations internationally, including Fortune 500 companies, franchises and direct sales organizations. He lives in Jupiter, Florida.