The Heroes and Villains of Influence

How do human beings make decisions? By choosing the quickest path to pleasure or away from pain. In the art of influence, this is valuable intel. You can better lead people when you understand their underlying motives. People are motivated by many different kinds of pain and pleasure. That's why influential people keep track of their target’s observable triggers - what they want to move away from and move towards. So, today, I’d like to delve into one of the lesser-discussed pain/pleasure triggers. Using this technique can swiftly shift your target’s perspective. I’ve coined this approach as... Heroes and Villains In everyone’s life, there are people we look up to and people we never want to be like. The people you want to model are your heroes. The people you never want to become are your villains. Heroes and villains are guiding posts in our lives. The closer you can be like your hero, the prouder you feel about yourself. The more you are unlike your villain, the stronger and more resilient you feel. When you want to influence someone, identify their heroes and villains to make your message more compelling. Who are they? Heroes and villains can come from anywhere. A common example is a family member. Keep in mind there are a variety of relationships people have with their families. For one person, their dad might be the touchstone for what is right, how to be an honorable person, and how to care for the people in your [...]

5 Conversation Tips for More Influence

Conversations. They can lead to powerful moments of realization and revelation. Conversations are how we, as a species, connect, learn, and grow with each other. And…conversations can be a huge source of stress, anxiety, and missed opportunities. One of the worst moments in any conversation is that terrible awkward silence. Not knowing what to say next can make you panic and worry whether or not you're making a good impression.  So, today, l'm sharing a few tips that will help you keep that conversational flow going, always.  Tip #1: Visualize Then Clarify Your first tip is to visualize during the conversation. Here’s what I mean. As the other person is speaking and telling you a story, visualize what they’re talking about as if it’s a movie playing in your mind. They could be telling you about a crazy, kooky thing that happened during their last vacation. Or, they could be telling you something as simple as what happened on their commute to work this morning. Then, look for knowledge gaps in the story. What’s missing in this movie? Do you know where they were? Who they were with? What time of day it was? Knowledge gaps are your opportunity to ask clarifying questions, which prompts the other person to elaborate, thus continuing the conversation. Tada! Here’s a quick example: New Person: “We had a blast the last time we were here.” You: “Oh, did you come to last year’s event?” (Notice the “When” knowledge gap) New Person: “Sure did. That [...]

How to Be Influential Without Words

Did you know you can be influential without even speaking? Sometimes your most influential decisions have nothing to do with what you’re saying. Yes, words are an important factor of influence, but sometimes you’ll want to turn your focus from the message and direct it to the messenger. If you want to really step-up your influence game, then now is the time to start paying attention to your state. Let’s start by defining state, then we'll talk about the different circumstances in which your state can enhance your influential conversations. What is State? I was introduced to the concept of state in my 20’s while reading Tony Robbins’ books. No matter if you like, love, or hate Tony, understanding the utility of state can become your new favorite “Aha!” lesson for life. Essentially, state is the connection between your physical and emotional being. Meaning, your physical state can trigger emotions and your emotions can trigger your physical state. The understanding and utilization of state give you: Control in stressful situations, More choices when you’re feeling reactionary, Access to helpful thought patterns (again, rather than being reactionary) Leadership capabilities Here’s an example. Many of my clients want to feel more confident while speaking, either at conferences or while giving a presentation in a boardroom. Of course, you can’t just say to yourself, “Be confident,” over and over again. In fact, doing so is actually going to make you stress out more. Which means, you can’t talk yourself into feelings, [...]

2 Steps to Letting Go of What Other People Think

All my life, I’ve had this fear in the back of my mind. I’ve struggled with it, made my peace with it, and then looped back to wrestling with it once again. I don’t know if I’m normal or if I’m different, but I’ve always been afraid of people knowing this about me. So, of course, the rational thing to do is to post a blog about it on the internet where it will remain forever. Brilliant. And so, I’m about to reveal a potentially embarrassing fact about myself because I believe that through this you will learn something about you. You might see how you’ve experienced a similar struggle in your life or possibly in your business. Let’s begin. The genesis of this blog post begins when I was on the phone with a dear friend. It had been months since we’d spoken to one another. She has a one-year-old who, when he was born, experienced some trauma. He spent the first few months of his existence in the hospital. After he was cleared to go home, they have had regular doctors’ visits and in-home therapy sessions. Not to mention all the normal work that goes into raising a human being - sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and endless diaper changing. So, the gaps in between our girl-talk time is completely understandable. The great thing is that whenever we do talk, we always have amazing “a-ha!” moments together. With she and I, there is no surface level. We always get to [...]