Influencing Others to Follow Your Way of Thinking

by robertr

February 14th, 2014

Simply put, it’s difficult to be an effective leader or salesperson without knowing how to win people over. Part of influencing others and encouraging them to follow you is helping them understand your way of thinking and respect it. Having others understand your perspective can be much more effective when done properly, rather than simply saying “It’s my way or the highway” or “Because I’m the boss.” Here are four ways to get them hooked on your ideas, policies and/or outlook:

Begin in a friendly way
Ever hear the expression ‘You catch more flies with honey than vinegar?’ Well, you win more people over to your way of thinking that way, too. Start in a friendly, “teaming” way, and you’ll be received in a more friendly way than if you try to demand people do as you say. Start by learning the names of your clients or team members, and really listening when you speak with them to build a solid rapport. Win them over by showing that you’re interested in what matters to them—and they’ll naturally do the same for you.

Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers
Instead of just laying down the law and having people take notes of your master plan, influence others by asking leading questions that guide your staff to suggest the very ideas or concepts that you’re introducing. Then praise them for coming up with that solution. In other words, set your staff up to want to “own” what you’re introducing.

Dramatize your ideas
One way to win people over is by engaging people and getting them excited about your ideas—not just aware of them. A good way to do this is to show – not tell – people what you’re talking about. Visual props like PowerPoint and specifics numbers and examples can help you with influencing others. For instance, if you’re talking to your team about sales growth, talk about the astounding 70 percent increase you had in repeat customers and what a success that is for everyone involved, rather than simply saying that customer loyalty is growing. And don’t forget to smile and use eye contact, which shows people you’re speaking to them—not at them.

Throw down a challenge
If you expect the worst or bare minimum from your team, that’s what you’ll get. Throw down an ambitious challenge and tell them you believe they can make it—and see them rise to meet it. Emphasize that while you know this is a big goal, you have faith they will make it happen—and you’ll provide the support they need to do it.

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