Stop settling, start winning. Let me teach you a few tips on how to influence people.
Do you know being able to influence people has a lot of value? Whether in your personal or professional life, it helps you achieve tasks easier, make friends faster, and generally gives you a wholesome experience when engaging other people.
Mind you, these ways might not work for everyone. Unlike most researchers and lecturers, I’m enlightened enough to realize there’s a margin of error for every conviction. In fact, expect some epic failures along the way.
But if you diligently work at this skill, you will at least have a foot through the door when it comes to approaching people and getting them to buy into what you’re selling. I mean that both literally and figuratively.
7 Ways To Easily Influence People
To be effective in social circles and even organizations today, you must be able to influence people. I’ll be honest; this actually helps your professional life a lot more.
In the workplace, sometimes your title alone isn’t always enough to sway others. If you’re a leader, how do you position yourself? How do you motivate colleagues to support your initiatives and adopt your ideas? How can you become a go-to person that others ask for guidance and expert advice?
Well, I will discuss seven ways that help you influence anyone and anything. Let’s move on without further ado.
Body Language First
People are constantly assessing whether to trust you or not. We’re hardwired to be asking the question, “Is this person a friend or foe? Is this person trying to undercut me, or are we on the same side? Shey dem send this one ni?” As a matter of fact, these questions always pass through my skull whenever I bump into some random stranger who wants to make conversation.
Can never be too careful. Most Nigerians will understand this.
So, to be able to approach (much less influence) people, your body language is critical. In the workplace, and in life, standing up straight with your shoulders back helps you come across as confident and commanding. Slouching and looking down at your feet has the opposite effect.
When you adopt a certain slumping posture, you think in subordinate terms and you talk in subordinate terms, and it increases the likelihood that you’ll be seen as less authoritative.
Say, for instance, you have a meeting with a colleague you don’t know well from another division. Signal that you are a friend by keeping your arms uncrossed, your hands by your sides, and your torso open and pointed at the other person. I would also advise pitching your voice a little lower than you normally do in order to connote power.
This is useful to work on because it counteracts the effect of nervousness, which tends to push your tone higher.
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Don’t Fake Interest
Have you ever watched Harvey Specter from the hit show Suits speak to any of his clients? He doesn’t just glance around the place whenever they file their complaints. He looks directly at them, so direct you can see his interest is well-vested in them. His attention is not faked. You see it. The clients see it, too, hence their unwavering faith in his abilities to get them out of any bind.
In order to make a good impression, you need to show an active interest in the person you’re talking to. Listen to what they are saying. A good listener learns a lot about people.
Ask stimulating questions about the other person’s interests and opinions. Respond to their questions with a sense of the topic. For example, if it is an upsetting conversation about sickness, don’t tell a joke. Don’t be foolish.
Responding correctly will generate a sense of trust and create a bond between you.
Bite The Head, Heart, and Hands
You probably thought I went loco, right? Wrong. You see, this is the three-way target of influence. The head, the heart, and the hands. You can either aim for one, or all three.
When you make logical appeals, you are influencing others through the head. This taps into the rational part of their brain. You can influence them by appealing to their organizational beliefs, the benefits of your proposition, or by presenting facts from a recognized authority.
To use your heart, you must connect with a person’s emotions. You make them feel this is important. Emotional appeals hinge on the values of those you’re trying to influence and their sense of belonging. Influencing with the heart is often effective when fundraising or recruiting for a nonprofit board.
Influencing others through the hands involves cooperative appeals centered on collaboration and teamwork. You’re reaching out to others, seeking their input, and encouraging everyone within a particular group to work together. Collaborating to achieve a goal that benefits the greater good is a powerful influencer, especially when you’re working toward making massive, lasting change. Like building a world-class mass media conglomerate from scratch.
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It is important to always respect other people’s opinions, even during a disagreement. You do not need to agree with the other person, but you should allow them to express their opinions and beliefs without insulting or belittling them. Relationships are built on trust and mutual respect, so it is important to recognize and accept your differences.
- If you really have to disagree with someone, recognize that although you don’t agree, what you hear is not unreasonable. “Yes, I see where you’re coming from, however…”
- Make generous use of the metaphor of perspective. “Yes, but if you look at it from a different point of view…”
- Never tell another person their opinions are absurd, ridiculous, or worthless.
Don’t Be Bossy
Never give orders, even with the word “please.”
This makes the other person feel like you don’t respect them or care about their input and might lead them to deliberately ignore or do the opposite of what you want. Instead, ask questions or make subtle suggestions.
For instance, instead of saying “You can’t smoke in here, go somewhere else” say something like “Isn’t it a nice day outside? Wouldn’t it be nice to smoke outside instead?”
Instead of saying “Take out the trash” say something like “Would you mind taking out the trash? I did it last night.”
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Persistence Is Key
This doesn’t mean being immovable. Stubborn as a mule.
One mistake those who want to learn how to influence others make is that they mistake rigidity for persistence. They doggedly pursue the same activities or goals they’ve had from the beginning even when they’re not working. Remember that persistence can be useless unless you pair it with flexibility.
When pleading your case, if it doesn’t work out the first time, try a new angle. Leaders are flexible, and so they can make a change when something isn’t working. Failure won’t seem to stop them; they’ve failed before and always learn from it.
Think of it this way; you persist for the outcome, but you flex your approach toward that goal.
Set Unreasonable Standards
One thing people respect, even when they don’t mean to, is audacity.
To influence others and change the world, you must set a standard of unreasonable expectations. The only way something revolutionary happens is when you won’t settle and when you know how to influence others not to settle.
The biggest difference between a manager and a leader who knows how to influence others is that a manager gets people to do things by supervising them. A leader, on the other hand, inspires people to a new standard; even when the leader isn’t there, people still live by these new rules because it’s become their standard, too.
The leader gives them the tools to unlock an extraordinary life.
Related: How To Get A Nigerian Visa
A Word From Battabox On Influence
There you go. Seven rules on how to influence people at your fingertips. Master these tips and your negotiations and suggestions will move forward quickly, having a result that leaves both parties satisfied.
If you have any questions, let us know below.