One of the qualities that the human being has is the ability to influence something or someone. Even if there is no such intention, everyone influences someone else; for example, parents in their children, salespeople in clients, managers in their employees; one friend influences another friend, and so on.
During your professional and personal life, you will realize that the power of your influence to help others can become one of your most treasured skills.
We all have to learn to influence others to be successful. From family to work or our business, being able to influence our partner, children, suppliers, bosses, employees is key and necessary to achieve our goals.
Unfortunately, our power of influence is usually as strong as the coffee you get at a gas station. It is not a skill we learn at school or by sleep-deprived parents who prefer to take the easy shortcut from: “because I said so” to “here it is and why this is best for you”.
If you’re having trouble getting people to like your Facebook page, now you know why. There are key aspects that, by developing them, will increase your power of influence considerably.
Influence is a skill that can be learned. At the end of it all, what is a leader? A person capable of influencing another. Nothing more. Nothing less. That’s why I encourage you to apply these 10 laws and open up a direct path that will lead you to your best life.
Law No. 1: Define what you really want
“You cannot reach a target that you cannot see, and you cannot see a target that you do not have.” —Zig Ziglar
The first law for you to cultivate influence is that you must know precisely what you want the other person to do.
This may seem like an undeniable thing to do, but many walk exactly through this step without realizing it.
Have you ever complained to your partner about your working hours? What you’re probably saying is, “Hey, love me more, look at me more, damn it.”
Or maybe you have discussed with your close friends how much your partner spends on clothes or coffee?
I bet you really want the feeling of security that comes with saving a few dollars for your monthly rent.
We try to influence hundreds of situations every day, and when we accidentally get what we really want, we wonder why we are still unhappy.
Have you ever gotten the promotion or raise you wanted, only to find out that what you wanted was a few more days of vacation each year, or just a little more recognition from your boss?
Without exception, everything we do or fail to do in life is ultimately aimed at achieving some feeling, something that gives us security, enthusiasm, love, etc.
So start by defining how you want to feel and then activate the influence.
Law # 2: Listen first
“The change happens by listening and starting a dialogue with people who are doing something that you think is not right.” —Jane Goodall
Once you know what you really want, it’s time to pursue that goal as a high-speed freight train full of angry bulls.
No, wait a minute, this is not cool. Slow down. You can get everything you want, but not with the excavator approach.
Young children struggle and shout when they see a shiny object they like, and capable influencers can exercise patience and start by asking their influencers important questions.
This sometimes requires direct questions, such as “What can I do to sell you this new car?” More often, open and subtle investigations work best: “What are you currently working on?” for example.
When you start listening to your partner or colleague, he or she is listening to you. And when that person is shining with these vibrations to feel good, he will usually do his best to hear you in the best possible way.
Listening does much more than create receptivity; this will allow you to find out what a person is looking for.
And you can use this to negotiate some type of trade (see Law 8). You must be interested in people. Ask questions with enthusiasm and show a genuine desire to serve, and you will multiply your influence.
Law No. 3: Tell stories
“The human species thinks through metaphors and learns through stories.” —Mary Catherine Bateson
If you follow politics, during every election campaign each candidate will tell you a lot of things like: “You should vote for me because that way we will double the funds for schools, put 10% more police on the streets, finance local museums and blah, blah, blah.”
I even got bored with that kind of message all the time. That’s because logic, statistics and facts don’t move most people.
We believe that we are rational animals, but the truth is that it is the emotion that ignites our bones.
Stories, not white papers, create real emotion, and that emotion takes us to action.
The narration has been a universal constant throughout history and across cultures.
It seems that we are programmed to tell the stories and listen to them.
Compare these two approaches:
“620,000 people worldwide died from COVID-19, so it’s always necessary to wear a mask.”
“A 3-month-old girl died of a virus yesterday. Now bereaved parents are encouraging their children to wear masks. ”
The stories speak directly to the best in each of us: our compassion, nobility, enthusiasm or inspiration, among others, in a way that the real facts cannot.
Learn to tell stories, and you will exercise what the ancient Greeks called Pathos, which is nothing more than the ability to use emotion to move your audience.
Law 4: Become an authority
“Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.” —John C. Maxwell
Are you more likely to cooperate if a doctor says, “Take it, take this medicine, and you will heal quickly” or if a stranger does?
Would you be more likely to get off the fast lane when driving down the highway if a police car, or a smart car, was flying behind you with its lights flashing?
We are more likely to find someone we consider an authority;
And you don’t have to wear a uniform to influence others (although that certainly helps).
A recent study showed that real estate agents could increase their business by up to 15% by merely having a receptionist inform callers about the representative’s qualifications before transferring the client to a particular broker.
You can do the same thing by displaying testimonials on your website or marketing material, hanging up all your degrees in your office, or requesting an endorsement from influential celebrities.
Even if you have no real authority, you can project it when you speak confidently or dress well.
Better yet, try to get other people to publicize your benefits in front of everyone you want to influence, as this leads to giving you more credibility than if we blew our own horn.
Law # 5: Be cool
“This is the law of sympathy: the real I am the best.” —Michelle Tiles Lederman
Dr. Robert Ciladinha spent his life researching everything related to being influential. He managed to discover that sympathy is one of the critical parts to be able to cultivate influence.
We like people who are like us. We want to be surrounded by people who seem to have a certain magnetism, and that makes us feel good.
Have you ever found yourself saying something like, “He’s a brilliant person!” About a stranger? It is probably because you see the traits in it that you admire in yourself.
But what if you are a fan of the Rolling Stones trying to influence a Beatles music lover?
You’re in luck – there are also tactics you can use to be more pleasing to the object of your influence.
One of the simplest ways to do this, says Ciladinha, is to compliment that person.
It would be best if you made sure that the compliments you give that person are genuine and sincere; otherwise, they will turn into false praise of flattery, something that people can feel miles away.
Small talk also works. Effective salespeople start by asking lots of questions to find out more about you: your kids, your job, your interests, etc., to find common ground and it’s not just empty jokes.
In a series of studies done on negotiation, a group was sent to work directly on the topic, and about half reached an agreement.
The other group was instructed to exchange personal information first, and their success rates soared to 90%.
That is why it is essential to get people to like you, and you will see that your influence will skyrocket.
Law # 6: Create scarcity
“Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.” —Samuel Johnson
Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for showing that people are not as rational as you think. It also showed that humans are obsessed with avoiding any loss rather than taking calculated risks.
It is for this reason that we generally maintain a job or relationship that we consider “not bad” instead of risking a career change. “Things could be a lot worse, right?” That is why we sell a stock that is losing value, instead of doing the rational thing to buy more.
And it is for this very reason that scarcity motivates us easily: because we want more than there is less. Likewise, we are afraid of missing an opportunity, so what we do is act now.
Job offers for a limited time or quantity. “Only five tickets left!” and “The price goes up at midnight!” are some of the tactics that will be equally effective in the year 2099.
To increase your influence, show someone what they can lose if they decide not to cooperate with you.
Law No. 7: Appeal to Reason
“The only way on Earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to achieve it.” -Dale Carnegie
Humans rarely reach the levels of Dr. Spock’s logic, but we certainly can reason. Even Captain Kirk solved problems without a phaser or fists from time to time.
Both Greek philosophers and Starfleet knew the power of logos, or reason, to conquer human minds.
The origin of the term means “argument”. But the image of that couple fighting on the street should not be evoked: arguing is literally “giving reasons.”
The big arguments expressed involve giving convincing reasons for someone to do what you want them to do, even if they or others may have compelling reasons for doing the opposite.
The reason can work even when the person you are trying to influence has no desire to do what you suggest. That is why people vote for a particular party “so that the other party does not win”.
Discussing is a skill that you can undoubtedly develop with constant practice in your daily life, or through public speaking groups like Toastmasters.
The truth is that reason is never as powerful or enduring as emotion to bring about real change, but if you are looking for only short-term actions, then this can be a mighty lever in your toolkit. of influence.
Law # 8: Keep reciprocity in mind
“You can have everything you want in life if you just help other people get what they want.” —Zig Ziglar
If you don’t get what you want through emotional appeals, reasoning or just being kind, there’s always a bribe available!
No, it’s not true, I’m just kidding, more or less, but the saying “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” persists for a reason.
We all want to know, “What do I get out of this?” Therefore, appealing to the most basic personal interests of others can be a very motivating reason.
The Law of Reciprocity requires that we pay someone for the kindness he has done for us, even if it exceeds our generosity!
That’s why free samples and paying for your boyfriend’s dinner are a reward.
Cialdini discovered this game in his research, which is why he showed that a customer’s tips increase by up to 23% if the waiter delivers some candies along with the bill.
To increase your influence to the extent you want, you can start by accumulating favours.
Help people reach their goals without asking for anything in advance and then redeem your chips.
You can quickly understand what people want by practicing Law # 2: Listen first.
Just keep the following in mind: once you start encouraging people, they will always expect a reward from you. Use this influence tactic sparingly.
Law # 9: Encourage consistency
“We all deceive ourselves from time to time to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we’ve already done or decided.” -Dr. Robert Cialdini
The flip-flopper has a special place of disdain in our minds. The person who says one thing on Monday and then does another on Tuesday puts a bitter taste in his mouth.
When it comes to our behaviour, we have to do all kinds of somersaults to look consistent.
People who are effective influencers, especially digital marketers, know this very well.
That’s why they make you say “yes” at the beginning of a conversation with innocent questions and avoid questions that can lead to a “no” at all costs.
“When you say ‘no’, all the pride in your personality requires you to be very consistent with yourself,” writes Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People.
That is why it is recommended that you start looking for small yes or small commitments, and this will allow you to be more successful when requesting other more extensive agreements later.
You can also promote consistency by having your prospect write their appointment on a piece of paper or make it public (you can try this tactic for your purposes, responsibility works!).
A doctor’s office conducted studies that allowed him to discover that he could reduce missed appointments by 18 percent if all patients wrote their appointment cards at the previous check-up, since writing them before represents a more concrete commitment in our brain.
Give people a chance to show their consistency, and their influence will increase.
Law No. 10: Build consensus
“The example is not the main one to influence others. That is the only thing.”—Albert Schweitzer
We try to be consistent not only with ourselves but also with others.
Peer pressure is part of all high school experiences, but a study by British drinkers showed that it also affects adults.
Those who drank little or no alcohol got drunk when other pubgoers urged them on.
Human evolution has favoured social groups over lone wolves. That genetic spin is at stake today in Black Friday hysteria, dressing like your colleagues, even with your strongest political beliefs.
If you can take advantage of this imperative need for harmony, you can be very influential, and, in some cases, you can even convince people to act against their desires (but let’s use that power forever, okay?)
Let’s say you are trying to convince your boss with technical challenges to endorse your proposal for a paperless office.
You are more likely to go digital if you first build a coalition with all your colleagues and then give the manager that unanimity.
The researchers made several groups of people walk around a large room at random.
The impact? Five percent of the participants were instructed to follow a particular path. In a short time, the other 95% were following the same path without knowing why.
Success in life means getting what you want, at least most of the time. And no one, not even the most talented individual, can do it alone.
We depend on third parties, either to buy our product or to give us a job.
Many people are subjected to a series of weak arguments, coercion, pleading, scolding, or even tantrums to influence others, which is why many people still don’t have what they want.
The influence says: You can have it all if you just convince others to see that your interests are theirs. Follow these ten laws, and you’ll find that you’ve always had the power in you.