The world of influence is filled with countless brilliant ideas and strategies. Unfortunately, only a handful of people will have the luxury of time to test different theories to see which ones are most effective. But don’t worry – that’s what I’m here for: I’m the one doing all the testing so you will be able to apply only the best techniques from this particular field.
In today’s exploration of influence and persuasion, we are going to talk about the “little things” that have a deep effect on an influencer’s impact on his subjects. You see, not all influence or persuasion techniques are big and complex.
Some tactics are simple and relatively easy to follow even if the one trying out the tactics isn’t devoted to the art of influence/persuasion. Look around and see which tactics would help you achieve persuasion more easily in the future.
Tactic # 1: Laugh and Don’t Bury Yourself in Tension
I know it’s old and overused but I’m saying it anyway: laughter is the best medicine. Before you hit me over the head with “everyone knows that”, let me explain myself: laughter is the antidote for even the most pressured situations.
Laughter helps release endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) and also helps ease stress and tension. So whenever you feel that a conversation is not going as planned, instead of feeling sorry for yourself or angry at the subject, just crack a joke and laugh.
You might be surprised how laughter can ease the pressure in a conversation. Sure, laughter might not help you think of a brilliant comeback after receiving a particularly nasty objection, but what I can promise is that you will feel better after laughing and it will help you think more clearly.
If you want a model for laughter, I suggest that you briefly study small children while they are playing. Children are great models because they laugh so naturally. They don’t need a lot of reasons to laugh – they just do because it feels good! Unlike adults, children don’t have to ‘wait’ before the higher up laughs before laughing.
Children also don’t worry too much about things (which is probably the single biggest reason why they don’t look so weary all the time). Take the time to watch children, too – you might be surprised how they conduct themselves with other children and adults.
Humor is also a great way to convince someone to agree with you even if the communication is not face to face (e.g. communicating through email or text messaging). Start the conversation with a joke and make the subject laugh first before asking something from him. Again, this slight change in your approach can yield better results.
Tactic # 2: Negativity Attracts More Negativity
This is probably one of the most vital life lessons that I can share with you on any occasion. It is so important that I’m even going to share it with you in the context of improving your persuasion skills. The LOA (law of attraction) stipulates that in this universe, like attracts like.
Positive things open the gateway for more positivity while negative things allow more negative stuff to enter your life. If you want to be a truly persuasive and powerful master of influence, you have to start dissociating yourself from people who are bathed in negativity.
Because whether you like it or not, these people will ‘share’ their negativity with you and over time, contact with these people will make your life more difficult than it should be. This applies most especially to professionals who are trying to rise above the rest in a company or organization.
Some people are more likely to be supportive than others. Cherish and support those who contribute positivity in your life and in your efforts to reach your goals. Discard or dissociate your relationships that do not directly contribute to your personal and professional growth.
This might sound easy enough on paper but trust me; it can be difficult when you finally try to apply it in real life because you will discover that some of your oldest friends and acquaintances aren’t actually helping you grow as a person. It is painful (the dissociation process) but trust me, it will help you in the long term.
Tactic # 3: Word Power
We have always lived in a world ruled by signs and language. Having a limited vocabulary can actually stunt your ability to communicate and eventually influence others. If you are not able to express yourself well in any situation, how can you show others that you are an authority and that peoples would do well to pay attention to what you have to say?
Take a look at the politicians and TV personalities that are raking in the big bucks – what do they have in common, apart from their big bank accounts? Probably just one – their ability to speak well. You don’t have to be the most intelligent man/woman in the city to speak well.
Language is a skill – so make sure that you take every opportunity to make yourself more adept in writing and speaking. If you encounter a term that you are not familiar with, don’t rely on contextual clues to understand it. Seek the meaning of the word.
Buy a dictionary or visit dictionary websites to find out what the word means. Build your vocabulary and make an effort to learn the latest jargon (special language) of your own field. This extra effort on your part will ensure that you will always be able to express yourself competently and authoritatively in any situation.
People will notice your prowess in language and they will respect your ability to adequately express yourself whenever you need to. They will also appreciate the fact that when you have an idea in mind, you are able to fully explain your idea in its entirety.
So the next time you talk to someone, try to think of a new word that you have only recently encountered and try to use the word in the conversation. This will help you gain the confidence to start building and using an extended vocabulary on a daily basis.