Today I picked up the book The psychology: influence of persuasion, because yesterday I was listening to a podcast by pat Flynn which is called smart passive income and he was talking with his guest Andrew Warner, who is also a podcast host with an enormous following. They were talking about how to conduct interviews, but also how to get people to want to talk with you and want to be interviewed by you. The book How to Win Friends and Influence People came up yet another time, (It keeps getting mentions when I listen to smart podcasts or read blogs on the subject of marketing or becoming an effective saleswoman) and I decided I will finally read the book cover to cover.
I got myself some freshly brewed coffee and sat down in my living room couch, to get some variety in my workday and I cuddle in under a blanket with my coffee and my book. All of a sudden, the workday came to an end, and I had been GONE, immersed in stories of how psychology is THE most important subject to study if I want to succeed on my path of helping others do the same.
A few chapters in, I remember that adjusting my behaviour and habits a little in meeting with people, will increase my chance of success enormously, but I feel reluctant. WHY? Is it because I feel that if I use psychology consciously to my advantage, it will be an unfair playing ground? Do I feel that it’s wrong to use the power this knowledge has to influence people, because I feel that somehow influencing is manipulation and that it’s wrong? Why should I?
The whole damn world is under the influence of a zillion dollar industry focused on manipulating people to have a materialistic mindset and to buy things and services that they don’t really need, and even things that are potentially harmful to ourselves and the environment!
And here I am, reluctant to use a few smart strategies in order to influence, inspire and help people make the decision to become more productive, understand their purpose and live a happier life.
When I’m speaking these words, and as I can hear myself saying this, I realize how silly it is, and not even that, but solely the act of not doing my best to influence as many people as possible, is in fact selfish and smallness on my behalf. So to figure a way to deal with this reluctance I figured it be best to educate myself some more on the subject of influence. What is the difference between manipulation and influencing? Do you know? Googling it now to see if I have the right idea….
Influence vs. manipulation
In short, here is my understanding of the difference, and clarifying this “on paper” helps me feel so empowered and motivated to proceed with my purpose.
A person who:
- Disregards your views and talents,
- Seems opportunistic and egoistic,
- Is telling you what you need, should, or must do,
- Spins and skews the truth their way,
- Withholds information or lies,
- Focuses on people who can serve them and ignores those who can’t,
is not in a good place emotionally, spiritually or ethically and are trying to manipulate you for their own gain. But if you find yourself in a conversation with a person who:
- Really is listening and seeking to understand your desires and needs,
- Asks a lot of questions to discover how things could be,
- Respects you for who you are,
- Displays professional people skills with care,
- Seems to honestly want you to make the best decision for your self,
then you are in good company and keeping the relationship is a win-win for all.
Respectfully wanting to get to know you in order to see how all parties can improve and benefit from the meeting is a leader with the intention to influence. If you feel safe, inspired, powerful and optimistic, then you are have very probably been influenced by something or someone to access your own influential leader within. We could just embrace it. Act on it. Copy it!
I will, will you?