People often ask me how easy is it to influence the way other people think. Its one of the most popular things that people ask me about. After all, that’s what I’m doing under fire infront of people week in – week out.
There’s no real secret to it and niether is there any one magic wand that you can use. It’s much more about trying to put yourself in thier shoes. Getting people to do what you want is a mixture of five things. You’ll need to use them in the correct order and at the right time for maximum effect, and they are:
1. Make sure people believe they have a choice. Create the illusion that there’s a choice coz none of us like to feel manipulated. In reality we are more powerless about our choices than you might think. We often make up our mind, subconsciously about many things. Interviews – a great example. Research has shown that the outcome of an interview can be determined in the first 30 seconds of an interview, no matter what the interviewer or interviewee thinks or does. The key though, is to make sure that you create the illusion of there being a choice and then pepper the situation with subtle hints about what choices you want the individual to make. Got it?
2. Start from a place of agreement. This one’s probably most commonly used in business. Have you ever been at the mercy of a skilled negotiator? You’ve got to keep them on your side to influence their choices. Make sure they believe you both belong in the same club, then wherever the club goes, they go. Always avoid conformation of negative. It’ll kill any influence dead.
3. Frame everything as how it will help them – this is another one close to the heart of any successful business. You never sell by talking about features, only ever about benefits. Create that framework that only considers how what you want will benefit them. It’s very powerful because none of us want to turn our back on something that’s so clearly great for us.
4. Set time frames, if you don’t, nothing will ever happen. Look, if someone’s floundering, and not making the choice you want, despite your framework of benefits, despite making sure you are all in it together, then you need to up the pressure a little with some subtle use of “now, not tomorrow” type messages and you can tip the balance in your favour quite easily.
5. Position yourself as personable, but not too easy to access. Imply once you leave you may never see each other again, and they shouldfeel sad about that. This all about getting them on your side, you’re their best friend, but you are also something special. That way, they’ll want to buy into your ideas because they want to be like you. A bit like you wanting the Mind of Kennedy!