How to Influence Others – 7 Quick Ways to Get What you Want

Getting What you Want is all about How to Influence Others

Not in a negative or manipulative way. More in a, ‘I needed to get this project moving forward’, how can I influence others to get them to do what I need them to do? There is no silver bullet, but there are a few small things that you can do that will make a big difference to your influencing skills to influence people at work, get what you want and influence change.

Two businessmen sat having a conversation over coffee

There are a few simple ways to improve your influencing skills to get what you want

#1 How to Influence Others: Tell them something Good

We all like to be praised. This goes back to being a child and seeing your parent’s praises. In adulthood little has changed. We all want to be told that we are doing a good job, did something right, or made a positive difference.

Action: Find a genuine reason to praise that person. ‘Thank you for being on time today. I appreciate this because my diary is back-to-back today’.

#2 How to Influence Change: Pull More than you Push

There is a model in influencing skills called the ‘Push and Pull’ model. In essence, the model is useful for understanding how much we push – tell people what is going on in our world, and how much we pull – ask what is going on in their world.

Action: Pull more than you push. Both influencing styles are useful for influencing. Sometimes you need to push – ‘Here are my thoughts on how we can sell more’. Or pull – ‘How do you think we can sell more?’. As a general rule, pull, more than you push. Ask questions.

#3 How to Influence Others: Be Present

Have you ever been talking to your son/daughter or a friend, and mid-way through the conversation they take out of their phone and read a text that they just received? Putting aside that it is rude, the strong signals you take from this person is that what you are saying is not of interest.

Action: Make the person you are talking to, your whole world. Nothing else matters whilst you are talking to them. Go as far as to show them that when a text/message/email comes in and they say, ‘Do you want to get that?’. Reply with, ‘Absolutely not, I am 100% focused on you’.

#4 How to Influence Change: Actively Listen

A lot has been written about listening. I tend to read it and roll my eyes screaming in my head, ‘I know how to listen’. The truth is that I have 3 types of listening; 1. What the psychologists call active listening – when I truly want someone’s opinion because I have asked, 2. Everyday listening, where I listen whilst write down some notes & consider other things, and 3. Present to listen. To actively listen all the time is not possible because it is exhausting.

Action: Select the first – actively listen when you truly want to influence someone. You know when you are really listening because you are not forming the sentence in your head to reply, but genuinely waiting to see what they mean, seeking clarity with questions, like ‘Did you mean this?’, and watching for small changes in their body language & tone.

Young woman listening to music with headphones

Demonstrating active listening will improve your influencing skills

#5 How to Influence Others: Smile

Very easy to do. Easily forgotten. What would someone say if they observed us at work all day? You didn’t smile much. They’d be right. Maybe we should see what happens. Richard Branson said, ‘A smile can prompt a smile, extend into a laugh and bring happiness to a whole room’.

Action: Smile more.

#6 How to Influence Change: Show Humility

No one knows it all. Has all the answers. Is always right. They simply don’t. Accept that you’ll make mistakes, and in fact, if you are making mistakes maybe you’re not moving fast enough. Accept that mistakes are part of life, own up to them, accept them, and share them. People will love you for it. This will influence change.

Action: Share your mistakes. Embrace them. Encourage others to make mistakes and to share them.

#7 How to Influence Others: Be Enthusiastic

Have you ever met someone who is trying to sell you something and they have a monotone voice? I bet you didn’t buy what they were selling. We need to show our enthusiasm and that wave will carry people along.

Businessman in office throwing hands in air in excitement

Showing enthusiasm will improve your influencing impact

Action: Select the ‘enthusiastic’ button when you want to influence someone.

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