Persuading with Integrity: Recognizing Influence
This post continues from my last post on Persuading with Integrity here and is helpful if you are seeking to improve your ability to change your world for the better and you want to improve your persuasion skills.
Strengthening your positive persuasion, persuading with integrity, and communication skills is facilitated by understanding some basics. This post will cover some useful definitions I have found to help people as they work to improve their positive persuasion abilities.
What is influence? Is influence something you have or something you do? Pardon the paradox, but the answer is both. When people trust you, they are open to being persuaded by you. your influence flows into them as a force that is recognized and respected.
This natural process gives you the power to cause things to happen through others with their willing consent. Trust is so important to powerful positive persuasion skills that I have posted on building workplace trust here and developing an assertive style (including confidence) here. Trust magnifies your persuasive power. There is nothing so powerful as the positive influence trust makes possible.
Yet there is such a thing as negative influence. That’s when you are persuaded or motivated to act against your own interests. Or you persuade others to act against their interests. This kind of influence does not require trust. It does, however, require acceptance and acquiescence, through the surrendering of personal responsibility. For example, peer pressure creates this kind of influence. Anytime you go along with the crowd without considering the consequences, you run the risk of negative influence.
Negative influence can also insert itself into your life when you limit the scope of your input. This age of information offers radio stations, Internet radio, television and cable stations, specialized magazines, newspapers and web sites that promote a single point of view. People marginalize themselves and surrender important opinions as they watch listen and read only that which supports their limited, and therefore limiting, views and opinions.
If your mind is set on comfort and agreement without challenge, eventually you become enthralled to your chosen mental environment. The mind narrows, positions harden, society becomes polarized and important information goes unnoticed because it exists outside the limited domain.
In the early days of television and radio, advertisers, hosts and broadcast personalities admonished their audiences with the classic “DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!”
So what is your homework for today? As you work to improve your positive persuasion skills—TOUCH THE DIAL!
Change the stations, read watch or listen to something that you disagree with. Challenge your views in order to gain access to information that exists outside of your comfort zone. This way you can expand the scope of your input. You can bring into your awareness other options, other interpretations and possibilities. These other possibilities provide you with what you need to better understand your world and give you sufficient information to influence it for the better.