If you want to influence people, you have a couple of choices about how to achieve your result. Part of learning how to influence people involves being able to make conscious choices about how you do this, rather than simply running on auto-pilot.
Firstly, if you want to influence someone, you can take action. There are many different ways of doing this, from positioning, persuading and pushing, right down to misleading, manoeuvring and manipulating. Personal ethics, agendas and consequences will determine how cleanly these actions are implemented; however, the common problem with all of them is that they take time and effort.
Instead of all this scheming, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just sit back and let people do what you want them to do, and do so willingly?
This is the second choice, and the preferred choice of those who are highly successful in their work and life. While others scurry around grasping for influence, they relax and just watch things come their way. But before you get carried away, it is not the easy route. They didn’t arrive overnight and this is not a quick fix. Significant investments of thought, time and energy go into bringing this capability online and getting it ready to provide robust and long-lasting effects.
In a nutshell…
- If you want to influence people without even trying, you have to be powerful.
- Power is the capacity to influence ― neutral in concept and shaped by purpose.
- People are influenced by things they want, or things they want to avoid.
- If you have what they want, and they know it, they will try to figure out a way of getting you to give it to them.
- Equally, if you have what they don’t want, they will work hard to avoid you giving it to them.
- If their only chance of getting it, or avoiding it, is through you, you will be a significant influence on them without even trying.
Yeah, okay, you will have to take some actions to gain the power, and once you have it you will need to nurture it, protect it and make it shine. Beyond that, it will just work for you for years.
Space does not allow more than a summary on how to build your strategy for becoming more powerful…
- Decide where you want to be influential.
- Figure out what the people there want (or don’t want), now and in the future.
- Find ways to build your capacity to be able to deliver what they want.
- Do this in ways that are difficult to replicate and build your monopoly!
- Keep an eye out for imitators and make sure you are the best there is.
Perhaps you might also like to add in there a few careful decisions about your ethics and integrity just to be on the safe side — we don’t want it all to go to your head now do we?