Tag Archives: be more successful

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People at Work

At work whether you’re dealing with colleagues, staff, vendors or clients there is always the need to make a good impression and to have an impact. And this is important because when you can connect with people and exert influence you can achieve your objectives much more quickly and with less resistance.

An interesting characteristic of exceptional business leaders is their ability to get the best from people, they know how to appeal to people in a way that makes them eager to give 100%. Thankfully, this is not a God given trait only some people have, this is a learnable skill anyone can acquire to have more influence and impact when dealing with people.

Let’s look at 10 ways you can be honest and sincere yet more influential in all of your business dealings.

1. Values

One of the most impactful ways to influence someone is to identify his values and appeal to those values. Our values represent what is important to us, some people value success, achievement and recognition while others value honesty, integrity and loyalty. What we value varies from one person to the next.

People reveal their values through their actions more than through their stated opinions. You can identify someone’s values by his track record, his lifestyle and the kind of people he associates with.

You can then appeal to his values by framing any requests in terms of what is important to him. This requires flexibility on your part, you must be able to explain what you want in different terms for different people. If someone is highly achievement oriented talk about how his input will help him to get ahead, if he values security talk about how his support is a way to develop your long term business relationship.

The key is to be honest yet adaptable so that you can frame your request in terms of what matters to the other person. In other words, you need to speak their language rather than expecting everyone to adapt to your values.

2. Identity

The single most reliable indicator of behavior is our compulsion to be consistent with our identity. If you see yourself as dependable, consistent and a team player it can be almost impossible to reject a request for help from a close colleague. On the other hand if you see yourself as independent, bad tempered and stubborn you may find yourself reluctant to help even though you really want to. In each case your identity, how you see yourself, will dictate the range of behaviors you feel comfortable with.

The key is to pay attention to the clues people leave about their sense of self. Pay attention to statements such as “I would never do that!”, “that’s not the kind of person I am!”, “I am someone who…”, “who do you think I am?”, “I am…”.

Any request you make that matches the identity of the person you are dealing with is going to be very persuasive to that person. It justifies agreement because their identity and your request are a logical match. On the other hand any request that is inconsistent with their identity will often be rejected immediately even if it’s a fair and reasonable suggestion.

Whenever you can appeal to someone’s identity your request will be almost irresistibly persuasive so make sure to use this approach with integrity.

3. Give First

Always give first before asking something of a business connection. You need to do this to establish that you are sincere and open to a mutually beneficial long term business relationship. Because so many people just want to take, take, take or they make a game of giving first before immediately asking for much more, when you give without asking for something in return you define yourself as someone worth knowing.

Your generosity indicates you are looking to build a mutually beneficial relationship that doesn’t demand reciprocity out of a sense of obligation. Take away the pressure to return a favor and ironically people are much more likely to feel motivated to help you in return.

4. Small Request

The first time you make a request of a business contact or a colleague make sure it’s a small request, ask for something you need but make it a minor request the other person can fulfill with little effort. This is important because you want to remove any obstacles to receiving help up front. If someone cannot or will not help you then you know it’s unlikely they will assist you if you ever need help with a bigger issue. If that happens you need to focus more on building rapport and then see if you can get help with a small request at a later date. If you still can’t get any help then it’s best to move onto someone else, someone who is interested in having a win win relationship with you.

When you do get a positive response to a small request it means you’ve established the possibility of a mutually supportive business relationship. Make sure to thank the person, either send a thank you note or make a short phone call to convey your appreciation. And look for ways to help that person get ahead.

5. Big Request

Only after getting a positive response to a small request should you consider making a request for something bigger. In fact, often it’s best to wait until you’ve had a series of small requests and positive responses before asking for more. This will take time, you need to establish a relationship with a bilateral pattern of asking and receiving that benefits you and the other party. This will also let you know how capable and how reliable the other person is.

When you eventually make a big request make sure to do so without placing any pressure on the other person to help you. Be explicit about this, say directly with no possibility for misunderstanding that you’d appreciate help or advice but only if it’s a convenient time and only if the other person isn’t too busy with other commitments.

And only make a big request if you are prepared to reciprocate in kind at a later date. Please bear in mind that asking for help is not a way to get free help, it’s more like barter with the aim of building and maintaining a mutually beneficial business relationship. You must expect to pay in terms of time, skills and contacts.

6. Shared Goals

The easiest way to get commitment from someone is to find a situation where your goal and the other person’s goal are in alignment. By helping you succeed he will also succeed. This needs to be a genuine fit not a manipulated effort to find common ground.

Before this can happen you need to have an understanding of what the other person wants to achieve, how he plans to do so and why it matters to him. Take the time to get to know someone and you’ll see where your goals and their goals allow for the possibility of cooperation for mutual gain.

A shared mission to achieve success can be highly advantageous to both parties because it encourages people to pool resources and commit to a win win relationship from day one.

7. Congruent Agreement

When you have an established business relationship and you make a request for help make sure you get a congruent agreement to help you otherwise it counts for nothing. Probe a little more deeply, if you notice a lack of commitment and a reluctance to help you, to find out what the problem is.

If you notice resistance to your request it’s best to take the pressure off and withdraw the request. This allows both parties to discuss the matter in a more relaxed manner and to potentially find a new way to proceed that works for everyone.

Whenever you have an uncommitted response to a request you risk introducing unwanted pressure and awkwardness into the relationship and it’s nearly always better to drop the request than to risk the relationship. And that’s why you must always check for congruent agreement to your requests and address any resistance immediately.

8. Never Criticize

When you are still getting to know someone it’s best not to criticize them personally when they ask you for feedback even if they request feedback on their personal weaknesses. Always keep it positive and never offer personal advice unless it’s asked for. Even then, encourage people to develop their strengths but don’t point out their weaknesses.

In business we all like to project an image of invincibility but most people are simply hiding their insecurities behind job titles and achievements so don’t risk upsetting someone by agitating their demons.

Be friendly, be positive and refuse to be the one who points out personal deficiencies to his friends. This is the best way to maintain rapport and to encourage cooperation now and in the future.

9. Return Favors

Every favor demands a response in the business world. Don’t forget, this is not family, this is the dynamic world of business where every good turn deserves one in return. As you build a network of mutually supportive colleagues always be aware of their current projects and pressing issues so you can be ready to help with your contacts and expertise.

Don’t kid yourself that a favor received is a lottery win. It’s not! It’s a friendly way of receiving help that you must show appreciation for, by performing a favor in return, either in response to a request or as a spontaneous gesture to help a colleague solve a problem.

Think of favors as comprising a barter economy, it can be a highly efficient way to get things done without cash ever changing hands and it allows commitment relationships to develop that enable all parties to become more successful. Just bear in mind that the only relationships which last are the ones where people give and receive out of a sincere desire to help.

10. Rapport

Everyone prefers to do business with people they know, like and trust but it takes time to get to know someone so don’t expect your ability to influence someone to happen overnight. Instead make a point of getting to know the real person when you meet someone, be curious about their interests and hobbies, talk about family and work but let the relationship develop at it’s own pace and make sure to also share more about yourself over time.

People are understandably reluctant to make commitments to people they can’t relate to so you must expect to invest time before people will trust you and see you as someone of integrity. Your actions will speak louder than words so know that what you say will be monitored but what you do will reveal your true character.

Be someone of integrity and value who is worth knowing and as a natural consequence you’ll become a person of influence.

How to Become a Great Communicator and Be More Successful

This is a guest post written by Richard Krawczyk.

Reach Your Personal Development Objectives By Utilizing Good Communication skills

How would you like to use your personal development objectives to become a great communicator? Imagine the shock your family, friends and co-workers will feel when you suddenly turn into someone who actually listens and cares about what they are saying instead of making every conversation “all about you.”

Just stop talking and “tune in” to what others are saying. Now if you’re listening to a speaker on a teleconference or live presentation, I’d recommend you take detailed notes. Research has proven that the average person only recalls 25-50% of what they heard in a presentation or conversation.

This is why if someone asks you to explain something, say a business opportunity or details about this or that, ask them to make notes because you’re actually wasting your valuable time and theirs by even talking about something they’ll forget within hours. In a week or two, they will probably not remember one word of what you said.

It’s very important to develop listening skills so you can understand and respond intelligently.

Quality communication creates and builds rapport in any relationship, avoids any confusion down the road and leads to a higher degree of understanding of the expectations of those you deal with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the average person has a short attention span and doesn’t listen as well as they should. This fact alone can create lots of challenges.

If All Else Fails, Pay Attention!

Isn’t it irritating to be in the middle of a conversation, only to look at the person you’re talking to in time to see them gazing off into the sunset, daydreaming of who knows what. In any case, they’re not listening to you. Not only is it rude on their part but it can cause you to feel unimportant and dismissed.

If you’re one of those people who can’t pay attention when others are speaking and your body language is screaming; “You don’t matter to me and I’m bored as hell.” Instead of texting someone on your iPhone or BlackBerry, staring out the window at the wind blowing in the trees or continually checking the time on your watch, try some techniques to keep your attention so you won’t be known as a poor listener.

Watch the person who is speaking and do everything you can to keep eye contact with them. Don’t fidget. Sit still and focus your attention. See if you can concentrate on the speakers’ movements, gestures, facial expressions and what they add to their presentation. Besides, you may learn something that can serve you well in the future.

Sit up straight and lean toward the speaker ever so slightly. Engage in the conversation or presentation by nodding in approval at something they say. Pay no attention to noise, the temperature in the room or other potential distractions. And for goodness sake don’t start chatting up the person sitting next to you. You’re not in High School anymore and you don’t need to distract the speaker.

Never Pre-Judge

First of all, do not interrupt a speaker or someone you’re conversing with. Allow them and/or the speaker to finish their sentence. Do your best not to allow bias and prejudice you may have toward someone just because they are different from you, perhaps in race or accent.

Of course, you may have an inner emotional response but do not allow anger, fear or negative emotions cloud the situation and put up a roadblock to understanding the message they are trying to convey.

Wait until they are finished speaking before you begin to formulate a response. Perhaps you won’t even feel the need to say anything once you hear their whole message. If you’re in a constant state of thinking of something in rebuttal to what they are saying you will miss much of what they’re discussing and rush to making a judgment call that upon later reflection wasn’t even necessary.

Humans think at approximately four times the pace of the speaker’s. Just relax and listen to what they are saying and give yourself the time to absorb and understand what’s being said.

Providing Feedback

If you have questions, by all means ask but try not to dominate the discussion with more than one or two questions. Never diminish or embarrass the speaker or come off as a know it all. Give someone else a chance to ask a question. Everyone would like to have others admire their intelligence or wit, but don’t appreciate arrogance.

Repeat back to the speaker what you’d like them to clarify in order to make certain your understanding is correct. Keep an open mind and be honest in your response and be respectful. You may well be up on a stage one day giving a presentation and I’m sure you’d like the same respect given you by others.

Make Yourself An Expert at Listening

Many people have the same complaint about friends, family, co-workers, spouses or partners. “They never listen to me when I’m talking to them.” That’s an expression as old as time. I’m sure it’s a centuries old complaint.

Obviously if you have someone in your life that absolutely drives you crazy because no matter what you ask or tell them, they forget it within minutes. You can tell them something and ask ten minutes later what you said to them and they may say they don’t remember. This can be the result of many things.

Perhaps you’re “nagging” at them constantly about the same thing and they have made the decision to tune you out. Or they are so self-absorbed they don’t care what you said. Either way, it’s an issue that needs to be looked at to be properly resolved.

If you’re the culprit and just zone out when people are talking to you then it’s your job to begin to have some compassion and work on your own listening skills.

A good listener is also a good communicator because they take the time to engage others in meaningful conversation, listen, understand what is being said, the message being conveyed then they take action.

The Best Communicator

Communication skills are one of the most important tools you can have whether for business or in your personal life. No one can be successful if they don’t know how to communicate. You can have the best product or service but if you don’t have a clue how to get your message across properly no one will listen or “get it.”

Naturally, if you lack communication skills there are an endless resource of classes or CDs, DVDs, books and online webinars or teleseminars you can sign up for and attend. There are free webinars on any subject you can imagine being given online every day. Go to Facebook or other Social Network sites and look for “free webinars” and sign up to attend as many as you can.

By hearing various speakers present their offers, you can determine who is the best at presenting and relaying their message in a cohesive and clear manner. If you have the urge to purchase their book, training system or product after hearing their presentation you can be sure they got their message across.

You may want to attend as many of their free webinars as possible and model the way they communicate. You can make huge improvements in the way you talk and communicate with everyone around you and you’ve done it at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Be creative and make a project out of your personal development objectives.

About The Author

Richard M. Krawczyk is a human potential expert, best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker and strategist. For more information about personal development objectives, go to http://www.RichardKrawczyk.com. This article may be reprinted if sent in its entirety and with the author and contact information attached.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?Reach-Your-Personal-Development-Objectives-By-Utilizing-Good-Communication-Skills&id=7398232 Reach Your Personal Development Objectives By Utilizing Good Communication Skills