5 Principles of Ultimate Influence

All of us must learn to influence others. Whether persuading your child to eat broccoli or supervising a team, the ability to influence is important to working with others.

In those situations, do you see the other person as an adversary? Do you resort to manipulation or coercion to try to get what you want?  Or do you understand how to influence and win that person over?

The World’s Greatest Influencers

The greatest influencers are not manipulators. They aren’t pushy. They don’t create animosity. Instead, they seem to win people naturally, effortlessly, making everyone happy with the outcome.

How they do it is the subject of this post.

 

BobBurg

Bob Burg is a speaker, a blogger, and a best selling author. He’s perhaps best known from his many stage appearances as a speaker for large organizations.  You may also know him by his runaway best selling book, The Go-Giver.  I have read all of his books and learned from all of his work.

His latest book is Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion.  It’s one of those books that you cannot stop reading.  I have dog-eared and underlined so much of the book that he likely wouldn’t recognize it if he saw my copy.

There are so many lessons in this book, which reads like a modern day version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Reading it, I realized that there are dozens of questions to ask Bob.  I chose to focus on the five principles of ultimate influence shared throughout the book.

 

Sometimes the most influential thing we can do is listen. –Bob Burg

 1. Control your own emotions

Bob, I want to ask you a question about each of your five principles to influence and move people to a different thought or action.

The first is to control your own emotions.  Why is controlling your emotions the very first step and why is it harder for some people than others?

Skip, as human beings we are emotional creatures. Sure, in certain ways we are logical, but we are basically driven by our emotions. That’s often very counterproductive. The problem isn’t that we have emotions (emotions are a wonderful part of life), it’s being “controlled by our emotions.” When this is the case we are simply not in a position to think clearly, to think logically and be able to take a negative situation or person and elicit a positive outcome. When we are in control of ourselves and of our emotions, the opposite is true.

For example: If a person says or does something you find offensive, it’s important that you be in control of your emotions and – as Zig Ziglar taught – “respond” rather than “react.” When you react, you are allowing that person (and your emotions) to control you; when you respond, you are in control of yourself and your emotions and are now ready to create an environment for a winning result for everyone involved.

bob-burg-scentsy

2. Understand the clash of belief systems

 

Your second principle is to understand the clash of belief systems.  This one may not be as intuitive so please tell me more about it.

A belief is a subjective truth. It’s the truth as we understand the truth to be. But that doesn’t mean it’s “the truth” (though we are usually certain it is). While our belief systems are a combination of upbringing, environment, schooling, news media, television shows, movies, popular culture, societal mores, etc., it is pretty much formed by the time we’re six or seven years old. Some of these beliefs work for us, are productive and helpful, and keep us safe. Most are counterproductive and serve no constructive purpose.

 

Tact is the language of strength. –Mike Burg

 

So, we are pretty much controlled by a belief system we are not even aware we possess. Add on top of that, the person with whom we’re about to have a difficult interpersonal transaction is also controlled by a belief system that they are not even aware they possess. Now add to the mix that as human beings we tend to believe that others think as we think, and you’ve got the makings of a huge clash of belief systems.

We don’t need to understand their belief system; what we do need to understand is that their belief system is most likely much different from ours. Only when we consciously understand that are we in a position to proceed in a way that a mutually beneficial result can occur.

3. Acknowledge their ego

The third principle is to acknowledge their ego.  You say that the “ego is the ultimate driving force in everything people do.”  Give me an example of how to acknowledge ego in a legitimate way with sincerity.

5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

If there was a drug with no negative side effects that helped you eat healthier, exercise more, experience less depression, and sleep better, how long would it last in the pharmacy?  We would flock to doctors for prescriptions.  The pharmaceutical company would have a hit.

It may not be a drug, but gratitude may be as important to your health as nutrition.   Let’s look at some of the benefits.  People described as thankful tend to:

  •             Eat healthier
  •             Develop stronger immune systems
  •             Experience more energy
  •             Demonstrate optimism and mental acuity
  •             Cope with stress better
  •             Describe life with high satisfaction
  •             Exercise regularly
  •             Solve difficult mental challenges easier
  •             Have deeper friendships
  •             Sleep better
  •             Have increased self-worth and self-esteem
  •             Show increased productivity
  •             Enjoy work and perform better on the job

There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person. -Joyce Meyer

Successful people practice gratitude.  After all, I don’t see how you can be called successful if you aren’t happy and thankful for all life has to offer.

Here are five ways to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”:

1.  Write it down.

Keep a gratitude journal.  Try it for 30 days.  Be specific about what you are thankful for.  Watch how your thoughts develop over time.  You may start out simply, but when you add stories and color, it becomes more powerful.

When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. -Dalai Lama

2.  Talk about it.

Sharing what you are thankful for isn’t just for Thanksgiving.  Make it a habit to talk about what you are grateful for all year long.  It will reinforce your feelings.

Get Your Shift Together!

Image courtesy of istockphoto/AndrewJShearer

Steve Rizzo is The Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his seminars or read his books and leave with the same attitude.  He is a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker and author. His popular PBS special brought him into millions of homes. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame. His latest book Get Your Shift Together is one that I just had to share. I had the opportunity to ask a Steve a few questions about his life and his new book.

Let Go and Yield To a Higher Purpose

Steve, everyone would say that you were on the top of your game. As a comedian you were a national headliner, sharing the stage with Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Dennis Miller, Ellen DeGeneres and many others.  Your roommate was Drew Carey!  But, you made a decision to leave comedy and start over in a new career.  Tell me about that decision.Steve Funny

Growing up as a child, I acquired many fears and limiting beliefs about myself and the world that surrounded me.  Unaware, I carried many of those unresolved negative labels and limiting beliefs into my comedy career.  As a result, I kept sabotaging many opportunities that were coming my way. I knew I had the talent, but I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting my big break. I eventually figured out that I had a fear of failure AND a fear of success. (Talk about not being able to make up your mind.)  So I went on a self-help quest to better myself.  I read countless self-help books, went to personal development seminars, and listened to motivational CD’s.  I was determined to turn my life around.

Through the years I noticed a major shift taking place within me.  I guess you can say I was starting to get my SHIFT together. Eventually, the comedy industry was starting to show a lot of interest.  Ironically I was no longer interested in them. I was being called to do something else with my life.  This gradual shift that was taking place led me to my true purpose in life, which is to show people how to be happy and successful, regardless of their circumstances.  The tools that I used to better myself are the very tools that I use when I speak to groups throughout the country and around the world.

My quest to overcome the obstacles that were keeping me from the life I truly desired has brought my work full circle. I am truly grateful that I’ve come to the understanding that I didn’t quit stand-up comedy.  I simply let go and yielded to a greater purpose.  A new dream.  Okay, I didn’t simply let go.  At times I held on with white knuckles in a desperate grip, kicking and screaming!  The point is, when I finally did let go, I was free to pursue my true dream–to use humor and the power of positive thinking to help people learn the skills they need to get to a better place at work and in life.

Train Yourself to Be Happy, Confident & Successful

When Words Aren’t Enough

Last week’s unspeakable tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut left me speechless.  There really are no words to express the feelings, the raw emotions, the shock, anger, pain, and the heartbreak.  Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy tried to explain the unexplainable, saying “Evil visited this community today.”

Feeling Hopeless

How many of us just stared, open-mouthed at the television feeling completely hopeless?  I closed my eyes, feeling crushed under the weight of sadness as I thought about the children, the teachers, the school psychologist, the principal, and the first responders.

After watching some coverage, I turned off the television and said a prayer for all involved.  I recalled a scripture verse:

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18

I can think of no more crushing blow than this tragedy.

Lead With Love

How do you respond to events like this?  Dan Rockwell said it well when he said the response should be to lead with love.  I like what Dan had to say because love is always the best response.

Here are a few ways to respond to these sad events:

  • Love more. Hug your kids.  Even in a corporate setting, it’s possible to lead a company with love.
  • Be compassionate. Someone once told me that, when in doubt, assume the person you are talking with is hurting.  That’s because all of us face challenges, adversity and heartbreak.

How Mary Kay Cosmetics Shaped My Business Career

Photo by Telstar Logistics on flickr.

Mary Kay Cosmetics had a huge influence on my professional life.

Are you imagining me driving in a pink Cadillac?  Hosting Mary Kay parties?

What an image.  Unlikely.  Didn’t happen.  (But don’t laugh because there are men who apparently are quite successful.)

So how did Mary Kay have such a big impact on me?

In my very first post on this blog, I shared the unique way I grew up.  My parents took people in.  All ages, races, religions.  Some would stay a night while others stayed for years.  That meant that there were usually more girls at home than just my four natural sisters.  My mom wanted to earn some extra income and save money on buying all of the required cosmetics and skin care.  Someone recruited her into Mary Kay.

 

Everything you do has an impact.

What impact did that have on a teenage boy?