Principles that Will Enable you to Harness your Power of Influence


Human beings are a touchy lot; one wrong move, and you’ll lose all ability to convince people to get on your team.

You must make strategic moves that are informed by the necessary underlying principles.

Here are some of the principles you need to consider;

First, you need to understand the principle of consistency

  • Consistency in persuasion works this way: people are more likely to commit to bigger tasks or favours if you have convinced them to agree to smaller ones.
  • That is, you can get someone to swim oceans for you if you first get them to jump a puddle for you.
  • The foot-in-the-door technique is a compliance technique that is premised on consistency.
  • It involves getting people to agree to a larger request by first testing the waters with smaller requests.
  • If you want to execute this technique cleverly, you will need to condition your target to be consistent in their responses to your request.
  • For example, if you want your employee to work the weekend shift, you might first want to get them to agree to work the overnight shift or vice versa depending on which is the least preferred shift in your business.

Then understand the principle of authority

  • A person who is an authority figure in a particular field will have an easier time influencing others when compared to a complete newbie.
  • If you wish to persuade more people to do a particular thing, you must build your credibility by making yourself seem like you have expertise in whatever field you are playing in.
  • This principle is a key reason why professionals display their diplomas in their field.
  • Think about it when you walk into a therapist’s office, for instance, you are likely to consciously look out for the type of credentials they have hung on their walls.
  • If it so happens that your therapist has a whole lot of credentials displayed, you will likely feel a sense of comfort in their expertise and experience.
  • As such, any recommendations they have for you will be easily welcomed and implemented by you.
  • The therapist, in essence, has managed to influence you without even saying a word.
  • It is a fact that your authority will not be taken very seriously if you are the only one talking about it.
  • As such, you must ensure that you recruit others to beat the drums on your behalf, so to speak.

There are subtle ways of doing this.

  • In the office, you can identify a field that you are passionate about and become the office guru of that field.
  • For some people, this might be the field of Microsoft Excel or reporting.
  • The guy who is known as the office Excel guru will have an easier time getting things from people because they already know he knows what he is talking about.
  • He has also proven himself likable and useful by solving all their Excel problems, and his colleagues will want to pay him back somehow.
  • You do not have to learn Excel to make your mark in the world.
  • There are numerous other fields that you can excel in and present yourself as an authority figure.

Also, the principle of consensus is necessary

  • In everyday interactions, people look to others who are similar to them for cues on what to do or say.
  • A person who is a good influencer understands that all it takes is one person to buy into their idea, and the entire crowd will.
  • There are various ways in which you can apply the principle of consensus to your benefit.
  • In an office setting, for instance, you can get a section of the employees to agree to a cause and champion that cause to their colleagues.
  • These colleagues are more likely to be convinced that the cause is worthy because their peers said so.
  • If you have ever bought anything from Jumia or Alibaba, you may have seen that they include a section that shows the other items bought by customers who ordered the product that you have just purchased.

Why do you think this is so, and what effect does that section have on you as a buyer?

  • More often than not, you will likely consider buying those other items because these customers who have similar tastes and needs to yours bought them.
  • You may not have originally planned to purchase the additional items, but just the fact that others did it will have you thinking that you need to as well.
  • This is the principle of consensus in effect.

Moreover, you must understand the principle of liking

  • If a person likes you, they are more likely to meet your demands, whatever this may be.
  • A person who is not liked and is unlikeable as well will hear no more times than a well-liked person.
  • But how do you go about getting people to like you?
  • According to science, the secret to being liked is a combination of three main factors.
  • First, people like those who are similar to them.
  • For you to appear similar to the person you are hoping to persuade, you must find common ground with them.
  • For instance, many foreigners have learned that the simplest way to become more likable is by learning and speaking the local language.

The other thing that you need to be aware of when making yourself more likable is flattery.

  • Flattery will open many doors for you if you use it well.
  • People like people who pay them compliments.
  • If you want to ask someone to do something for you, start first by paying them a genuine-sounding compliment.
  • Just because it’s called flattery does not mean that you must be effusive about it.
  • Being too excessive in your praise will be counterproductive to your need to be liked.

Last but not least, be the kind of person who is usually agreeable and cooperative towards the achievement of mutual goals, and you’ll be one step closer to being likable.

  • If you are always stepping on other people’s toes to get what you want, you will have very few friends, and this will not help your case when you need to persuade someone in the future.
  • Remember, being agreeable and cooperative does not entail being a doormat.
  • Sometimes, it just means putting in some little effort that helps a person achieve a goal that is significant to them.
  • For instance, if a colleague is struggling with a due report, offer to assist them with the printing and mailing.
  • It is not a whole lot of work, but you will go from an uninvolved, nondescript colleague to a likable colleague who is kind and helpful.
  • Later on, you can cash this chip as you so wish.

Lastly, the principle of scarcity

  • In economics, the laws of demand and supply are straightforward: when supply is low and demand is high, prices go up.
  • To translate this, scarcity builds value.
  • If you are a business person looking to convince people to buy your product or service, it helps to highlight the fact that the product is on offer for only a limited amount of time.
  • Further, let your customers know that they stand to lose out significantly if they do not access this product on time.
  • When the marketing message is packaged that way, there will be more people rushing to beat the time limitation on your product.
  • In the world of business and personal relationships, it is important to become a scarce product yourself.
  • If you are always available to everyone every time they need you, you will quickly lose your value.
  • You have got to learn the art of being inaccessible and unavailable if you wish to retain your air of mystery and influence around you.
  • When you do finally show up, your word will be revered more than the word of a person who is constantly showing up and talking themselves out of any relevance and value.

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