Do you know how difficult it can be to influence someone?
Have you ever tried to influence another person to take a certain action before?
The answer is yes – we all have.
But how come it can be so difficult sometimes?
Whether it’s at work, with a customer and you’re trying to influence their decision to buy your product. Or at home, trying to convince the kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
Or perhaps there’s a certain someone you fancy and you’re trying to influence them into believing that they really do want to go on that date with you…
Whatever the situation, the ability to influence another person is a crucial skill that we each use every day, yet how come we barely ever talk about it?
Why is this topic not more important?
Unless you work directly in a sales role, you probably won’t ever hear too much about the art of influencing others throughout your life and your career because the concept is quite often disguised as ‘selling’.
And if I asked you if you consider yourself a good ‘sales person’, what would your answer be?
For most, the answer would be – no.
Or – I don’t like selling or sales people in general.
The idea of selling to most people is a terrifying thought.
The typical stereotypes spring to mind here – the sleazy car salesman, the street-stall harasser that disrupts your walk through the shops. Even the old door-knocker at dinner time that won’t take no for an answer starts haunting your thoughts.
The thought of selling is scary.
But aren’t we all selling something every day?
When you ask your colleague to do something for you – say to help you on a job, or even to attend your meeting, aren’t you just ‘selling’ the idea of the meeting to them?
You’re trying to influence their decision to say yes.
If you think about it like this – any time you ask someone to do something for you, you are technically trying to ‘sell’ them something.
You are attempting to influence them.
But how often does it work for you?
How influential are you?
Have you ever thought about it?
Would you like to improve your ability to influence others?
“Influence is the single most important skill you can master in your lifetime.” – Tony Robins.
Whether you like it or not, you’re trying to influence the people around you every day, so why not get better at it?
Why not make it easier?
I can tell you there is a trick to it, and it’s simpler than you think…
If you want to be able to influence others in a way in which they understand, appreciate and respond positively to, you simply need to understand the unique way they want to be treated.
Have you ever heard that saying “treat others the way you want to be treated?” – Turns out it’s not necessarily the best approach.
Because everyone is a little different, right?
So if you go round treating everyone the way YOU want to be treated, aren’t you ignoring their needs?
They might want to be treated a totally different way to you, it all depends on their style of communication.
Because there are four different styles of communication that we each use throughout our lives, but there is one style that you are most dominant in, and it colours all of your conversations with the people around you every day.
To make it easy, we’ve simplified the different communication styles into four easy-to-remember colours:
Not sure what your style is? Check out our test on our home page after this to get an idea of what style you might be.
So why does this matter?
Because if you want to have the ability to influence anyone, you need to be aware of the unique ways in which we each like to be dealt with.
Why we think and act the way we do. What makes us tick?
And once you know that, you can then quickly assess the best way to influence the person you’re dealing with.
Whether they are future focused and like to talk a lot, or if they need a lot of visual detail from you in order to understand you. Perhaps they just want you to get straight to the point, or maybe they need time to feel comfortable about what you’re saying to them…
If you can understand the other persons’ needs, you can slightly adjust the way you speak to them in order to be better understood.
But how can you do that?
You get trained in the art of influence and communication.
How does it work?
I’ll give you an example.
Imagine you want to ask your boss for a pay-rise.
For some people the idea of this already sends alarm bells ringing – awkward conversation ahead, not sure what to say, might get turned down… etc.
Rather than freak out, let’s think about how you could approach the subject in the best way possible.
How can you influence your boss to want to give you a pay-rise?
You can start by determining your boss’s likely communication style with some of the tools we teach:
- The way they dress (are they a smart or casual dresser?)
- What their environment looks like (is their desk tidy or messy, personalised or strictly work-related material?)
- How they speak (do they like to talk a lot, or do they use short-sharp answers – like bullet points? Are they warm and caring, or cold and clinical?)
You see we all give away clues as to what our communication style is through the way we dress, our environment and our words, you just need to know what to look for.
Then once you get an idea of what their communication style might be, you can adjust your approach slightly in order to ‘talk their language’ so to speak.
This results in them understanding your communication, appreciating the way you’re talking to them, and getting along with you better because they like the way you’re treating them.
So how can this work in everyday life?
You walk into your boss’s office and before you sit down you take a quick scan of the area. You look for the obvious clues (the ones I mentioned earlier) and it turns out they’re dressed very practically (not too fancy, but fit for the occasion, slightly worn clothing). Their desk is not overly messy or very tidy, but there are a few piles of paper and only work related material on the desk (no family photos, animal calendars etc.). They’re not smiling, they look focused and busy, their words are short and sharp and they’re writing a bullet-pointed list of things they need to do.
This quick assessment that you’ve made in the space of under a minute tells you that they might be dominant in the Red DOT communication style – they’re a Rationalist.
How does this help you? Well what you can do now is speak to them in their preferred Red DOT style.
When you’re skilled in the techniques we teach, you know that Red DOTS want you to get straight to the point, they like to deal with facts, and they hate being lied to.
So if you’re asking your boss for a pay-rise and you think they might be a Red DOT, your approach might go something like this…
- “I’ve been working really hard at this job for over a year now” (if this is true),
- You could list the achievements you’ve made in the last year (keep it brief though),
- Give some supporting evidence as to why a pay-rise is needed (rising inflation, company profit improving, your workload increasing – anything relevant and factual),
- Get to the point – “because of these reasons, I think it is only fair that my pay be assessed and potentially raised to match these rising demands”… or something along those lines.
Now you’re speaking Red DOT style!
But this exact scenario only works if your boss is dominant in Red.
What if your boss is Purple? What if they’re Yellow, or Blue?
It can be just as simple to adjust your words slightly to match their style in any of the colours, as long as you know the right techniques and tools to use.
It’s not rocket science, but it works.