You Can’t Not Influence People (Yes, it’s a double negative. Do the math!)
Posted Apr 19 2010 12:00am
What if I were to tell you that you are the right person, in the right place, at the right time, and your influence will determine, at least to some degree, what happens whenever you’re around (and quite possibly what happens when you’re not around as well)? Agree? Disagree?
Doesn’t really matter, actually. Whether you know it or not, you already have a great deal of influence, and in this post, I’m going to help you to understand the influence that you already have and how to begin to use it. Because it’s IMPOSSIBLE for you to not be able to influence people.
I’m always amazed when people tell me they feel like they are the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time, and have no influence. That’s just wrong. The only time you have no influence, as my friend Lenny the Punk puts it, is “When you’re dead.” And even then, you may have a great deal of influence. Fact is, we influence people all the time, by what we say, when and how we say it, and also what we don’t say, how and when we don’t say it.
If I tell you to think about an elephant, that has an impact on you. I mean, what do you think of when I say “Think about an elephant” to you? For that matter, what if I tell you “Don’t think about an elephant!” What do you think about? Great, now if I tell you to think about nothing…and then I suddenly ask you, HOW BIG IS IT? What do you think about?
An elephant? Well, that’s a bit of influence! And if I could predict it enough to exercise that with you, in a blog post, just imagine how much more influence we have with the people we know and interact with on a regular basis.
That’s why the silent treatment, withdrawing from people and hiding your face, your thoughts, and your words, is so ineffective in bringing about change. The silent treatment is anything but silent. You say plenty by saying nothing. So if you want to use that to your advantage, pick the moments of your silence for effect, instead of out of reaction.
So…knowing that you always have influence, that what you say and don’t say, do and don’t do, has effects and consequence, you have an advantage over the people who neglect to use their influence wisely because they think they don’t have any. The trick is to put your influence to use. That’s where having persuasion skills comes in. Annd the first skill of persuasion is to begin with the end clearly in mind.
This is probably as good a time as any to point out that you can get a free 14 lesson mini-course in persuasion delivered to your inbox, two brief emails a month for 7 months. And all you have to do to take advantage of that is go to http://LearnToPersuade.com and sign up. I’m even adding in a recording of a one hour keynote speech on ‘Dealing With People You Can’t Stand,’ a $49 value that I’m giving away to people who sign up for the free mini-course.