How to Positively Influence Others

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Winning friends and influence is an important skill, especially if you want to be a leader. In today's age, you need more than just a platform to influence. Here are a few fundamental skills to learn if you want to be influential in any capacity.

You don’t need to be a CEO or a political leader to positively influence others. In the age of YouTube, Wordpress, and Instagram, anyone has the tools to influence anyone else.

Even if you only reach a couple people with your message, the impact you have on those few people can be just as meaningful and important.

But being influential requires more than just a platform.

Influential people share a few very important behavioral characteristics that get people to listen to them.

These characteristics are what we are going to discuss today.  They will equip you to be influential online, in the office, in your community, anywhere in the world.

If you’re interested in learning what those characteristics are, then stick around!

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers. Robin S. Sharma

Today I’m giving you some researched-backed strategies on how to positively influence others. 

It’s important to state upfront that influence is powerful and should be used with care. 

Your purpose should be to have a positive influence on people. When people benefit from your influence, they happily spread the word about you, and your influence grows even further.  This creates a wonderful positive feedback loop where everyone profits.

By contrast, if you influence people in a way that doesn’t benefit them, such as to make a quick sale on a low-quality product, you might gain something in the short term, but you lose out in the long term. People will realize they’ve been tricked, and you’ll lose their trust, initiating a downward spiral.

So with that said, let’s jump into my strategies for positively influencing people:

Strategy 1:

Build your credibility.

You want to build your credibility as a leader so that people take you seriously. Credibility fosters trust and establishes your authority.

But what is credibility? In a nutshell, credibility is the confidence someone feels that what you say aligns with what has, or will, happen.

If a blog says they won’t send you spam email, and then as soon as you sign up they start spamming you, well that hurts their credibility. They promised one thing, and they delivered something entirely different. 

On the flip side, if a service says it can help boost your productivity by at least 100%, and your productivity goes up by 200% after using the service, they’ve established some serious credibility with you.

To put it another way, to establish credibility, you need to be reliable and consistent.  You’d be amazed at how few people actually do what they say they are going to do.

If you can be one of those people, you’ve established your credibility and have taken an important step toward becoming influential.

Strategy 2:

Be persuadable.

Yes, you heard that right. Most people assume influential people are the ones calling the shots, persuading those around them. Sometimes they are.

But it’s just as important to demonstrate to people that you are open to being persuaded. This shows that you respect their opinion. It makes them feel listened to and draws them closer to you.

They closer they come, the more you can learn about what is important to them.

That in turn allows you to tailor your message to their needs. Once you start serving people’s needs, you better believe they’ll start listening.

If they are listening, you are influencing.

Strategy 3:

Be a leader, not a boss.

The main difference between a leader and a boss is that a boss tells people what to do through an explicitly hierarchical relationship – it's a top down dynamic. I say, you do.

By contrast, leaders work alongside people and inspires them to action. They are force multipliers. They bring people together and combine their complimentary skills in a way that makes them more productive than they would be on their own.

People often refer to this as turning 1 + 1 into 3.

When you empower people to be more productive, they feel valuable. Everyone wants to feel valuable. If you can make people feel this way, they’ll want to spend more time around you.

The more they want to be around you, the more influence you’ll have over them. And since you are helping them achieve greatness, everyone benefits!

Alrighty, there we have it, three powerful steps to becoming influential. Let’s quickly recap:

  1. Build Your Credibility. Prove that you deliver on your promises to build people’s trust.
  2. Be persuadable. Demonstrate you care about their opinions and they’ll start listening to your opinions.
  3. Be a leader, not a boss. Empower people to be better versions of themselves and they’ll want to stick around to hear what else you have to say.

Remember, influence is a reciprocal, bi-directional process. There is some give and some take. Prove that you are willing to do both and people will appreciate you for it.

And make sure you’re using your influence for good. When the people you influence benefit, you’ll find that you also benefit. You’re in it for the long game.

Alright Explearners, thanks for tuning in and I hope you found this lesson valuable. Remember that progress is non-linear. So even if you practice just one of these steps you’re in a good spot. Be kind and patient with yourself, enjoy the journey.

Add these tips to your Explearning communication toolkit, try them out, and make them your own!

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I’ll see you in my next lesson. 😊

Happy Explearning 🐝