If you asked most people what creates influence, what would they say? Money. Position. Maybe a history of outstanding accomplishments.
Ha! You’re right, that’s exactly what they’d say—and they’d have it exactly backwards! Those things don’t create influence—influence creates them.
Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
The Five Secrets of Genuine Influence
- Master your emotions.
- Step into the other person’s shoes.
- Set the frame.
- BE GRACIOUS. Communicate with tact and empathy.
- Let go of having to be right.
#1 Master Your Emotions
BREATHE. Set your feelings to the side. You can still have your feelings; you don’t even need to change them. Just set them aside for the moment. Don’t let them drive the car. Put reasoned judgment in the driver’s seat, feelings in the passenger seat.
Retrain yourself to respond to conflict and disagreement by unruffling your feelings. Make calm your default setting.
#2 Step Into Other Person’s Shoes
LISTEN. Get out of your own head and step into the other person’s perspective. See the world through their lenses. Appreciate where they’re coming from and what’s at stake for them.
Listen with the back of your neck.
#3 Set the Frame
SMILE. Take the initiative to establish the tone and context of the interaction. Whoever sets the frame of the conversation also sets the direction and tone in which it will go.
#4 Communicate with Tact & Empathy
BE GRACIOUS. Let yourself feel what the other person is feeling, and speak to that truthfully, yet also with compassion.
No matter how different they may seem or what position they may take, remember that they are a chime and you are a tuning fork.
#5 Let Go of Having to Be Right
TRUST. As long as your premise is that your position is the right one, and the other person’s is the wrong one, you have no chance of arriving at a genuinely satisfying solution. Sometimes you have to let go, and eat the pancakes.