Influence is the ability to affect the character, development or behaviour of someone, and it requires you to develop a strong emotional connection with yourself and others. For you to influence people, you have to frame your words in a way that will motivate them.
George Hallenback says, “Without the capacity to influence others, your ability to make what you envision a reality remains elusive because after all, no one can do it alone.” Therefore, to master the art of influencing others, you need to tap into the emotions that drive people’s actions.
Instead of commanding people, you need to inspire, persuade and encourage them. Influence can be related to leadership because behind every great leader is an army of followers acting in support of their mission and cause. So, here are the five basic ways to increase your ability to influence people.
Respect other people’s opinion
Respecting people’s opinion signifies that their voice has been heard, and for you to achieve this, you do not have to argue with them. Listen to them and put their opinions into consideration. According to Dale Carnegie, “It is impossible to win an argument. If we lose the argument, we lose; if we win the argument, we have made the other person feel inferior, hurt his pride, and made him resent us. In other words, we still lose.”
Admit that you are wrong
You need to learn and understand the art of admitting your mistake. This enables the other person to trust you. With this, it grows the relationship that you have created.
Ask a “Yes” question
You can start your conversation by emphasising the aspect on which you’ve both agreed. Endeavour to lead the person to where you want to go with your question. However, do not begin the conversation by emphasising the aspects in which you and the other person differ.
Let the person feel he/she owns the idea
No one likes to feel like they are being told what to do. People prefer to think independently and to act on their own ideas. So, you can explain the idea to the person in a way that the person will think they own it.
Challenge the person
People have an innate desire to achieve. Along the desire comes a fierce sense of competition. With this, everyone wants to do their best to make sure that they win such competition. To influence people, you need to set up a challenging situation which will cause them to meet you.
To effectively influence people, you need to be clear about your own values and goals. Also, the goal is to influence others and not manipulate them.