Why do you want to influence others? Your attitude about it impacts your approach to it. Are you striving to convince others to adopt your opinion on a topic? Is making the world a better place your motivation for influencing others? Maybe you are trying to change someone. Have you identified your agenda for wanting to affect others? Start there so you know what your influence attitude is.
Influencing others requires more than setting an example. Partially it requires that examples need to be carefully thought out before being presented. It also requires good intention, education, listening, and building trust. Influencing others is a process, a result that is developed over time.
One commonly overlooked aspect of influence is that people have to be receptive to being influenced before you can have success. Are you going to pick your battles and be selectively influential — selecting either the people or the topic wisely? Or, are you going to jump in and pound on your topic with hopes people will “see the light” and come to your position? That’s one way, but it sure seems like it will cause a lot of brain damage on your part — not a good idea.
Walking your talk is a passive way of setting an example. Nothing gives you credibility and believability more than that. That’s a trust builder. I think walking your talk is a great way to share your beliefs on a topic and build others’ interest. I also think that it takes a strong intention and a plan to influence people. This is the role model aspect of influence.
What are your tactics in influencing people? Do you have any, or is your influence accidental? If you take an intentional approach to your influence, you’ll stay more present in the process and stay engaged with the people you are talking to, and be able to adjust your conversation to stay connected with those you are desiring to influence.
Having an influence attitude lets you show the value of what you want people to adopt, which garners their interest in return. That attitude lets you better associate with the person so you can share what’s relevant to them. Why would they listen to you or care what you are talking about if it wasn’t relevant to their life?
When people see the value of what you are talking about, they are more apt to listen to you and be open to your message. How can you show them the value that you see and feel? That’s where some forethought and planning come in handy.
It can take effort to come up with a value that relates to their life and interests. Sometimes it takes challenging others with new thoughts to get them to grow, to consider the topic, and to have a chance of seeing the value you are presenting them. Other times it takes an educational approach so they can think about this topic differently than they did before. Always showing value, though, is key to bridging the gap between the two of you so you can bring them over.
Why do you want to influence people? If you aspire to being a high performer, mastering the influence skill is vital. Stay aware of the reason you want to be influential as you develop your influence skills so you can be more effective with your efforts. Your influence attitude will be a secret to your success.