7 Keys to Influencing People

You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s.

The influence you exert is through your own life,

and what you’ve become yourself.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Many people want to know the secret of how to influence people. They can see that it is not only beneficial for themselves, but is also a good way to build character and relationships as well. There are many ways that we can influence people, but there are certain fundamental yet very effective ways to intentionally go about accomplishing it.

1. Its not about you. The first, and most fundamental rule about how to influence other people is to know that influence is not just about serving yourself and your own needs. It is a recognition that one is being considerate of others and conscious about their current state of affairs. Acting sleflessly is not really about submitting oneself to the idea of giving up one’s individuality, but it is recognizing others and being sensitive and minful about their needs and wants as well as your own.

2. Stop being judge and jury. The second fundamental rule of influence is being mindful of not being overly-critical of others. Resist the all-too-human urge to complain or condemn others indiscriminately.

It is very rare to come across a person who wants to be criticized. This is true regardless of whether what they have done is wrong or right, or whether your particular criticism is constructive or destructive. No one really wants to be criticized. Recognizing this, you must be constantly aware that criticizing is always pointing a finger at somebody, finding fault, blaming, no matter how well it is packaged or euphemized.

The same thing goes for whining, complaining and condemning. These tend to bring out the defensiive mechanisms in other people and begins to build up resentment, as well as damaging their self- esteem.

In order to succeed in gaining the most influence over others, positive reinforcement is the key. Instead of pointing out what is wrong, you need to be able to spin some good into the mix.

3. Show honest appreciation. The third basic rule is the selfless act of always giving honest and sincere appreciation of others, especially when they have done the right thing. This creates a morale-boosting sense of accomplishment. You will find that people want, and often crave, some type of positive reinforcement. And, further encpuragement means that less and less force must be used to correct people’s actions.

4. Be passionate! The next fundamental rule is to get others enlivened and excited about your ideas and projects by being passionate yourself. If you have a ho-hum attitude and demaenor about what you are working on, why should anyone else get excited. Brung some genuine energy into the room and into the lives of other people, and they will be happy to follow your lead.

To be influential, you need to be genuinely interested in others, a trait which bespeaks of selflessness and being considerate of other people.

5. Bring out the best. Another important aspect of influence is knowing how to bring out the best in others. This means that by doing so, you must know how to encourage others to be more confident of themselves and know how to take control of life’s situations.

It is by helping others understand importance of having good self–esteem and allowing them to value their own worth, boosting their sense or pride and achievement.

6. Be a great listener. The fact that a person is willing to listen, makes them good enough to take control of the situation.

Being able to listen is a true mark of leadership and will help you understand the importance of the influence you hold over other people.

7. Abandon being perfect. Lastly, be able to admit making mistakes. Do not force yourself into believing that everything you do is right. Or said another way, don’t believe your own hype.

Most of these are techniques that we use in our lives every day. Many of them are steps that can easily be translated into and used in our professional lives as well. So always try to remember that to know how to influence people, one must also know how to give in to selfless acts.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmanuelvivier/313989680/sizes/z/in/photostream/

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