Influence Anyone In Seven Small Steps
Influence - What is it?
Influence literally translates to the power to have an effect on people or things. Unknown to us, we constantly influence and are being influenced by a myriad of factors affecting our every decision. Even something as simple as our choice in tooth paste stems from an unbelievable number of influences from the external world. Influence is universal and is not restricted by species or by geography.The list of factors that help in influence may seem infinite, but yet social scientists have shortened the list to just under ten! In this article, we will learn how to influence other members of our own species, to get them to do what we want them to do.
How do we influence people?
We all influence people for some kind of gain, stock brokers, salesmen, managers, employees, bosses, house maids... the list is endless. We do something for our boss, so that a day's leave may be excused. We shower the spouse with love, so that we are loved too. We sweet talk the salesman, hoping for a small discount. We influence everything we interact with and vice versa. So how do we get people to do what we want them to do?
The 7 major shortcuts to influence people in today's world are:
1) Reciprocation and exchange.
2) Unanimity and concord.
3) Friendship and trust.
4) Paucity or scarcity.
7) Commitment and dependability.
Breaking it down!
Identifying and applying these seven principles of influence can get you what you want, when you want it. However, use these with caution, too much and one may begin to look desperate or needy. These principles can be applied to anything ranging from getting your crush to date you to getting a promotion at work.
Let's start with commitment and dependability. Let's say Josh wants to ask Jane out on a date. Before the active process of influence ever begins, Josh needs to be committed to the task at hand and Jane needs to know that Josh isn't going to pull one over her. A lack of commitment or using deceit to influence people can never work in the long term and will possibly lead to more harm than good. So, before you try to influence anybody make sure all the people involved are getting a fair deal!
Reciprocation and exchange - Humans are designed to remember favors and return them. Most people who are at the receiving end of a favor usually feel indebted to the person doing the favor. This principle of exchange means that, you will probably have to do good before you can expect anything good. Thus if Josh were to help Jane out with something, maybe give her a ride home someday, this automatically improves his chances by a slight extent. A salesman who calls you with genuine offers, is likely to get your business more often than not.
Unanimity and concord - More the number of people on your side, more the power of your influence. It is always easy for people to move with the tide than against it. If Josh was an all around great guy, this grossly improves his chances of scoring a date with Jane. People flock to the already crowded restaurants, don't they? In business, a simple way to get people to back you is by obtaining testimonials and reviews. Josh, can utilize social networks in a similar fashion.
Friendship and trust - Would you lend your car to a friend? If yes, why? Would you give a stranger your car keys? if no, why?. Trust is central to influence, and one has no chance of influencing a person who does not trust the influencer. This is where past deceit could be incredibly detrimental. Imagine if Josh has a history of relationships in which he was unfaithful, what chances does he have with Jane?
Paucity or scarcity - When are the stores doing their best business? Why do we feel the need to update to the newest phone instantly? Because for a day or two, we will be the only ones with that "rare" piece of technology. Scarcity always sells, for Josh, being an extra nice guy may make him look like a scarce resource. For a doctor, the extra smile may make him seem like a rarity. For your business, some exclusive information about the products you sell may make you stand out.
Authority - Ever wonder why you don't question your doctor as much as you question a salesman. Why do doctors flaunt their degrees and diplomas in their offices? Why do lawyers fill their offices with books of law, although they read only from their I pads? To flaunt authority, and with increasing authority, compliance also rises. Never miss the opportunity to subtly flex authority to get people to do what you want. Authority may not apply to romantic relationships, like in the movie Hitch. What about Josh? I am not sure if authority is going to help him secure a date!
Integrity - The most important of the seven principles. If at anytime along the way, one notices a loss of integrity, remember that failure could be lurking around the corner. Any kind of deceit or hidden agenda comes at the cost of one's integrity as a human being. The persistence with trying to influence people despite lost integrity would lead to loss of self esteem and a distorted self image and just would just not be worth it in the long run. Now, if Josh was trying to take Jane out on a date by faking the principles of influence, self doubt and guilt could deny him the fruit of love.
Putting it together.
Now that we know the seven principles of influence, we need to be able to put it together. Every situation offers a opportunity for practice. Smile at the ticket conductor and he might not pester you for change, buy your co-worker a coffee and he might not look so disgruntled when you take your vacation.Give your clients exclusive leads and they will keep coming back to you. But for long term benefits, you need the 8th principle.
Patience - It might take years before the principle of reciprocation might help one out. It might take years for one to build authority and years more to build good will. It is of importance that through this timeline one remains dedicated and consistent. The results will come and when they do, you will be content that you put in the hard work.
At the end of it all, you will be seen as a friendly, benevolent, scarce and trusted authority who can influence people for their own good.
I hope you found this interesting. The Vivid Mind Clinic is a psychiatry clinic based in Chennai, India. You can find us on the internet @ http://www.thevividmind.org. If you have a doubt or query please ask us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dr.vikasprabhav/.