We all need to learn how to influence others and manage other people’s influence. In today’s competitive world, it is critical to have influence skills. Use the following guidelines to increase the effectiveness of your influence techniques especially when you want to persuade others or learn more about their needs so you can influence them.
Admit Faults and Mistakes
Don’t always portray yourself as a person who is faultless and perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and you appear more humble when you state them, accept them and show that you, like everyone else, is capable of making mistakes. By admitting mistakes, you also set precedence for others to accept their own mistakes. This also focuses the conversations on solving issues and avoiding problems in the future, rather than finding faults in others.
Focus on the Real Issue
If you already know the other person’s needs and insecurities, then focus on solving the real problem. Help people to get over their insecurities or reassure them about what they have. They would appreciate your praise and confirmation.
Use a Direct Language
Use clear and concise statements such as “Tell me more about…”, “Show me how it happened…”, “Tell me the story…” to encourage information exchange. This allows you to concentrate on the real issue and filter unnecessary remarks.
Don’t Press Too Hard
Sometimes a person may not want to share a piece of information with you. Be prepared to let go and shift the conversation to something else. If you press too much, you risk losing their trust. Let them share the piece of information when they are ready.
Have patience when listening to others. There is a wealth of information you can receive by being patient and ready to absorb all the information you get, whether verbal or non-verbal. Your will be rewarded in due course as you get more and more information and discover the true needs of others.
Don’t Confuse the Other Person
Sometimes, you may feel you need to shift the conversation. If you want to do this, let the other person know that you are doing it to avoid confusing him. For example say, “Ok, let’s talk about X now…”
If you expect the other person to do something, let him commit to it precisely. This means you should expect him to say what he will do in his own words and also by when. Don’t state your request and except a “yeah, Ok” as a sufficient commitment. Although beware of “may be”, “I will think about it”, “I’ll do it as soon as I can” as they are fairly vague and open to interpretation.
Follow Through With Commitment
If you expect someone to do something, it is your responsibility to chase them for it. You can’t expect everyone to follow through precisely based on what they agreed when they talked to you, so you need to remind them, encourage them and push them forward.
Praise Others a Lot
Praising others is an incredibly powerful way to make them feel good about themselves and indirectly about you. Most people don’t get enough praise, so by praising others you will stand out from the crowd and people would come to love you for it.
Make Them Feel They Are Important
Give your entire attention to the other person. Minimise all the distraction to show that all you care in this world in their concern. A semi-interested approach would do little to help you build trust.
Most of the time if people have concerns they want to go to someone who feels confident and capable. No one is interested to share their story with those who have so many stories and insecurities of their own that they cannot be bothered to listen to yet another one. A confident approach will gain you trust and reliability.
Appreciate Other People’s Views and Efforts
Make others feel important and show that their inputs are valuable. This way they will be more likely to contribute in the future and let you know more about how they think. They will also be more open to change and accept ideas in return.
A great way to get people master the art of influencing is to train them on Influence Skills using training exercises and interactive scenarios in a training classroom. In addition, trainers who like to teach people influence skills can take advantage of Influence Skills Training Materials which contains slides, workbooks, course notes and exercises to quickly setup a course and teach the subject.