Influence is making people do things, especial the things you want. Influencing people might be comprised with a lot of things but it will always come to this – you need to know what people want.
Here is a story to illustrate this
There were two men fishing, it was on winter they practically had to dig a hole on the ice to get to where the fish were but they have been there for hours and caught nothing. It’s was just when they were about to give up. A young boy showed up, he passed them and went a little bit further and he started fishing he caught his first fish within minutes and plenty more after a couple of more minutes, he was doing pretty good.
They stayed there watching and after sometime it become kind puzzling and interesting.
So they went over there and one of them asked, “Son we have been here for hours and caught nothing, what’s your secret?” They boy answered but they could barely hear him.
It looked like he was chewing something so they requested him to remove whatever was in his mouth so they can hear him clearly. While removing what was in his mouth he said, “this is my secret” to their surprise the thing which was on the mouth of this boy were worms and he told them, “you gotter put the worms warm, that’s what fish want”.
So here comes to me and you – you will make people do what you want by knowing what they want.
And what do people want you say they want to feel important (appreciated), here are the two most important thing I want to share with you about influencing others.
Listening has to be with purpose and genuine interest.
For example Dale Carnegie write on his book How to Win Friends and Influence People about his experience he had with a botanist he just mate at the part, and here is how it went;
I met a distinguished botanist at a dinner party given by a New York book publisher. I had never talked with a botanist before, and I found him fascinating. I literally sat on the edge of my chair and listened while he spoke of exotic plants and experiments in developing new forms of plant life and indoor gardens (and even told me astonishing facts about the humble potato).
I had a small indoor garden of my own – and he was good enough to tell me how to solve some of my problems. As I said, we were at a dinner party.
There must have been a dozen other guests, but I violated all the canons of courtesy, ignored everyone else, and talked for hours to the botanist. Midnight came, I said good night to everyone and departed.
The botanist then turned to our host and paid me several flattering compliments. I was “most stimulating.” I was this and I was that, and he ended by saying I was a “most interesting conversationalist.” An interesting conversationalist? Why, I had said hardly anything at all. I couldn’t have said anything if I had wanted to without changing the subject, for I didn’t know any more about botany than I knew about the anatomy of a penguin.
But I had done this: I had listened intently.
I had listened because I was genuinely interested. And he felt it. Naturally that pleased him. That kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone. Most of us when we are in a conversation, we listen because we have something to say (waiting for our chance to say what we have in mind.
Key Take Away: If you aspire to influence others, have a genuine interest in them.
For another illustration,
I recently shifted into this school. I came to meet this person, we lived in one dormitory better of one room. There was something special about his behavior.
He had some kind of ill questions, the one that tend to make you feel like whatever you’re doing it’s not important and if it is, then there some kind of ulterior motives in it or let me put it this way if he speaks ten sentences eight out of those ten will be those which pisses you off. It was his habit and I had to be as polite as i could help it, but his action got on my nerves. I remember thinking to bit crap out of him.
But I came to realize it might not be a solution, for I will just made an enemy and an enemy who knows how to piss me off . So I made a decision to make him my friend, I remember going to him saying , “Sir, you will become my best friend to the result it might even surprise you”
It wasn’t easy, but I turned a friend out of him.
What did I do? I changed one thing only, I become genuinely interested in what he had to say and I was answering any question he throws at me genuinely and truthfully. After few month , I started noticing some changes, he will now be talking things which were deep and personal.
There was this one time he shared with me a lot of his personal life story to a result he was closely in tears.
Since then, he always calls me brother. Listening to him made him feel important and it was a starting point for me to influence his character too and which also influenced his behavior.
2. Refrain From Criticizing
Bob Hoover, a famous test pilot and frequent per-former at air shows, was returning to his home in Los Angeles from an air show in San Diego. As described in the magazine Flight Operations, at three hundred feet in the air, both engines suddenly stopped. By deft maneuvering he managed to land the plane, but it was badly damaged although nobody was hurt.
Hoover’s first act after the emergency landing was to inspect the airplane’s fuel.
Just as he suspected, the World War II propeller plane he had been flying had been fueled with jet fuel rather than gasoline. Upon returning to the airport, he asked to see the mechanic who had serviced his airplane. The young man was sick with the agony of his mistake. Tears streamed down his face as Hoover approached. He had just caused the loss of a very expensive plane and could have caused the loss of three lives as well.
You can imagine Hoover’s anger.
One could anticipate the tongue lashing that this proud and precise pilot would unleash for that carelessness. But Hoover didn’t scold the mechanic; he didn’t even criticize him. Instead, he put his big arm around the man’s shoulder and said, “To show you I’m sure that you’ll never do this again, I want you to service my F-51 tomorrow.”
It doesn’t matter what situation, swallow your criticism and find a way to make a good thing out of that bad one.
Key Take Away: Criticism never helps.
And when it comes to a point where you must point some wrong did in one’s behavior. Make sure you do it indirect and it’s by first mentioning one of you own errors. In totality influence on people is based on what they want and remember people go where they are appreciated this hold true also to what they do.
Influence – When you listen and avoid criticizing by any means necessary, you will influence others.