Are you a small business leader or midlevel corporate manager that seeks to advance your business, or your career? Do you find your initiatives challenged by information and resource gaps by those that don’t “get you” at times?
If so, this article will be of value to you as it highlights ways to cast a greater level of influence, gives insight into how you can negotiate better, and raises your awareness per being able to read body language.
Let’s examine influence, how you acquire it, why you’re not influential at times, and how to use it once you have it.
What makes you comfortable? What makes those that you’d like to have influence with comfortable? How do they view you in comparison to those with whom they seek comfort when being around those people? All of these and more, are questions you need to pose to yourself to assess where you are in your mind per those questions, and where you might be perceived to be by others. Remember, people like people that are like themselves. Thus, the more you appear to be like those you wish to influence, the easier it will be to do so.
How do we acquire influence and what should we do with it once we have it? Influence is a state of mind whereby you’re able to get people to act on your behest. Take note of what just occurred! I gave you my definition of influence. It may be slightly or drastically different from yours or someone else’s. The point is, once you know how someone views a situation, or the definition they give to a word, you have insight into the way they think and the meaning they assign to aspects in their environment. Then, you need to couple that with their perspective of what value is for them. Once you’ve acquired that insight, genuinely match your request to a goal/quest that they wish to obtain. Let them feel the emotions of your sincerity while showing them the benefits of adopting/addressing your suggestions. That will lead to you becoming more influential and having others readily seeking to assist you in acquiring your goals and theirs.
How do we lose or not acquire influence?
With some people, no matter what you do, it will not be good enough to draw them closer to you. If you identify that you’re in such a situation get away from it, to the degree you can. There will be situations in which some people will not like you. That can be due to their unconscious biases or biases that they’re well aware of. In such situations, sometimes you have to leave an environment to have people appreciate you for the value you possess. The perception of your value is what will allow people to perceive you as being influential.
When it comes to negotiations, the way you set it up and the strategies you employ have a great impact on how successful you’ll be. Remember, you’re always negotiating. Thus, when setting up an official negotiation, take into account the activities you’ve engaged in with the person/people you’ll be negotiating with and the impact that past impressions will have on the current negotiation. As mentioned above with influence, in a negotiation, the more influential you appear to be the more trusting you’ll be perceived as being. Don’t squander that perception. In a negotiation trust is a major factor per how far someone is willing to believe in what you say, compared to what you’ll do. Thus, if you’re perceived as being trustworthy, the opposing negotiator may think that something might not work out, but they know they’ll be able to trust that you’ll make them whole. That one aspect will allow you to gain more from every negotiation than you otherwise would have been able to achieve. There are also negotiation tactics and strategies that go into ways to maneuver in a negotiation to reach more favorable outcomes (i.e. when to concede, how slowly to appear when doing so, etc.), but those purviews will be left for another article to explore.
Now let’s discuss a very small component of body language. Body language and nonverbal signals move us emotionally more than most people are aware. In general, watch for hand movements that are not aligned with the words being spoken (e.g. words-this is going to increase your sales, hand action-pointing downward), pace of speech (i.e. slowing down might indicate one being more reflective, speeding up might be a point of excitement), and when such occurs. In particular, take note of what you said that stimulated the person to perform the mentioned gestures. Therein will lie insight into how well their body language is synchronized with their words.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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