Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How to Influence People to do What you Want Them to Do!

Managing a business, government agency, or community organisation would be so much easier if wasn't for people! They just seem to pull this way and that with no rhyme or reason. How do you figure out what motivates them and how do you get them to point in the same direction?

It might seem like a tug-of-war sometimes, but it's actually quite simple. There are just two things you can do to compel people to do what you want them to do.

The first is strength. This is the capacity to make things happen with abilities and force of will. People who project strength command our attention. Strength consists of two elements: Ability, or competence; and will, or determination, perseverance and resilience.

You can influence people to do what you want them to do through assertiveness and dominance. The very act of asserting yourself boosts your standing as someone who matters. But strength alone will only take you so far. To move beyond respect to admiration, you also need to be liked.

So the second is warmth. This is the sense that a person shares our feelings, interests, and view of the world. When someone projects warmth, we like and support them. Warmth encompasses empathy, familiarity, and love.

You can influence people to do what you want them to do by displaying empathy, which means putting yourself in their shoes. You can also create familiarity through acting consistently and predictably. This helps to put people at ease. And above all, acting with a sense of compassion, even love, can deeply influence others.

A funny thing happens when you use too much strength. You might get your way, but you never know who to trust. On the other hand if you use too much warmth, people may like you but they might not follow you when the chips are down.

The trick is to use just the right amount of both strength and warmth. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anaemic."
  1. To emphasize your strength, do some stretches to make yourself feel taller and bigger before you talk to the team. use the "power pose". Speak with calm determination, not aggressive or arrogant.
  2. To emphasize your warmth, generate a calm abiding compassion for people. If you want to be liked, you have to like people. Move your face into a genuine smile until it starts to make you happy. Find a reason to be happy where you are with the people you are with. Others will find your happiness contagious.