We daily influence someone — consciously or subconsciously.
We can influence people positively or negatively. In negative influence, people may use various harmful and unethical tactics to manipulate, deceive, exploit, or coerce their targets for their own personal benefits or interests.
Today, we are going to talk about positive influence.
In positive influence, you use ethical and constructive methods to inspire, guide, and encourage others. You aim for promoting personal growth and collaboration. You think about the well-being of others.
When you influence others positively, your focus is to bring out the best in others, and encourage empathy and trust.
Never underestimate the influence you have on others.— Laurie Buchanan
Here are 15 techniques of positive influence with examples:
Have you ever noticed that some people try to act like they are listening to you, but they are not?
Listening is an art and a must-have social skill to influence others, but many people fail to listen to others properly.
When you listen to others actively, you fully engage in a conversation. You nod when it is required. You provide verbal feedback wherever necessary and without interrupting the speaker.
To show others that you are genuinely interested in listening to them, be attentive and focus on what the other person is saying.
Example: When your spouse is sharing her griefs or concerns, give her your undivided attention. And when she is speaking, refrain from interrupting her. Let her complete first and then say what you want to say with empathy.
There is no harm and no cost in complementing and encouraging others. Then, why do you avoid it?
Make someone’s day. It could be your family member, teammate, colleague, or even your cab-driver. Offer them your sincere compliments without being cheesy. Encourage them to uplift their moods. By doing so, you are boosting their self-esteem. Complements and encouragements are a great way to influence others positively.
Example: Praise a teammate who has done exceptional work to make a project successful. Encourage her and express your confidence in her skills and abilities.
One of the best ways to influence people is to make them feel important.— Roy T. Bennett
If you are empathetic, it’s great for you.
Because, nowadays, many people are showing less empathy towards others due to various reasons like rise of technology, political polarization, reduced social interactions, etc.
Empathy is crucial for building relationships and human connections.
So, show your empathy and understanding by putting yourself in someone’s shoes. Make efforts to see the world from other people’s point of view and understand what their perspectives are. Push yourself and experience their emotions as if they were your own.
When you are empathetic, you become open to understanding the thoughts and feelings of others without judgment.
Example: When your friend is going through a challenging time, listen to her, express your support, and let her know that you are there to help.
There is an old saying that “Knowledge grows when you spread it”. What is the point of gaining knowledge if you can’t share it with others?
Share your valuable expertise and information to help others. They will be grateful to you as you are helping them to learn and grow further.
Example: Have you read or learn something insightful and helpful? Share it with your family members and let them know how it can be useful for them.
We all face problems or challenges in our lives. These can occur anywhere, in our workplaces, families, or communities.
We can’t solve every problem on our own. The truth is, we can find effective and breakthrough solutions when you work with others collaboratively.
When you work with others, people will notice your efforts and zest that you genuinely want to solve a problem together with them.
Example: You are working on a programming project in a team and a problem arises. But, there is no common ground among the team and there is no teamwork. They are coming up with different solutions to a problem, and they are not working.
In such a situation, you facilitate the team to brainstorm together and work on the main objective to solve that problem effectively.
Our actions influence others more than our words. So, watch your actions and see if they are positive or negative.
Because, people are watching us, our families and friends are watching us, and our teammates and colleagues are watching us.
When you become a role model, you start living your values and principles everyday. You start leading by example. You embrace those qualities you wish to see in others. You want to inspire change in those around you.
Example: If you want your children to be healthy, don’t eat junk food yourself. Don’t eat chips or drink sugary drinks. Go for healthy alternatives. Your children will learn about healthy habits by observing you and your actions.
How often do you say “thank you” or show your appreciation towards others? Many of us don’t do it enough.
When you say thank you with heart, it impacts others positively. Your acknowledgement can make someone’s day.
Your small gestures and kind words can brighten someone’s mood. When a person receives appreciation, she feels more confident. And, when you see a smile or spark in their eyes, you also feel good. So, it’s a win-win situation for both who appreciates and who is being appreciated.
Show your gratitude at home, at work, or anywhere outside where you deal with people. Let them know that their efforts are seen and valued.
Don’t wait for a special occasion or a grand gesture. The only requirement is that you should be sincere and your gestures should be spontaneous and warm.
Example: When you were going through a difficult time, your friend helped you. Express your gratitude and appreciation for her help at that time.
You can’t influence people if you give them destructive feedback.
When you give feedback to others, you should focus on empowering them, not making them feel vulnerable.
Constructive feedback can drive positive change. Constructive feedback can inspire an individual. Constructive feedback can strengthen relationships.
During a feedback session, you should actively listen to a person. Listen to what their thoughts and feelings are about your observations. Then, specify the main objective to them. Illustrate the areas where improvement is needed. Explain things with concrete examples to support your observations. They will appreciate it and will focus on understanding what you want to say.
Example: If your teammate makes a mistake, provide constructive feedback highlighting the areas to improve. Guide them and give examples if required.
Our society is diverse. Our world is diverse. So, there is a need for an environment where every voice is heard and valued. And, it is our collective responsibility to create such an environment for everyone.
When you promote diversity and inclusion, you don’t look for people’s different backgrounds, culture, or beliefs. You look for the uniqueness of each individual. You embrace the differences.
It is hard to promote diversity if we don’t shatter the barriers of our prejudices and biases.
Example: If you are hiring people for your startup, go beyond your biases and prejudices and strive for diverse teams by hiring talented people irrespective of their different culture or religions.
To influence others, you must lead by example.
First, set your own goals that are attainable. Then, work diligently towards achieving them. By doing so, you inspire people around you. You encourage them to do the same.
When we are dedicated towards our goals, it becomes contagious, and motivates people around us to take the first step towards their own goals.
When you help others set their goals, encourage them to identify their passions and strengths. Their commitment towards achieving success increases when their goals and interests are aligned.
When you provide your consistent support and feedback, you are helping other people grow and learn more in life.
Example: Assist a family member in breaking down a long-term goal into smaller, manageable steps.
To make a positive impact on others, prioritize self-care.
Give some time to yourself too so you can nourish your mind, body, and soul. Don’t always put the needs of others before your own. By doing so, you are setting an example to others.
In order to promote self-care, you can indulge in open and compassionate conversations with your loved ones, friends, or colleagues.
Encourage them to take out some time for themselves. So that they can get enough rest to recharge themselves. Talk to them about the importance of engaging in activities that can bring joy and peace.
While promoting self-care, make sure you give others space and respect their individual choices.
Example: If your friend is going through a stressful time at work, encourage them to take breaks and practice self-care.
We are living in a fast-paced world and everything is moving at lightning speed.
So, everyone is trying to move fast as their fear is lagging behind. Due to this, you can observe that patience has become a rare and precious virtue.
If you practice patience, it doesn’t mean that you are weak, it shows that you have strength and self-control.
By being patient, you demonstrate that you respect the uniqueness of each individual. You respect their thoughts and feelings.
You give them your undivided attention when they speak to you. You make them feel relaxed and comfortable, and allow them to express themselves fully. Your genuine interest in others creates a safe environment for them. They will find it okay to be vulnerable and authentic in front of you.
While practicing patience, you not just wait, you respond to others with empathy and understanding.
When you practice patience, people around you will observe that you don’t give in to quick fixes and instant gratification. They will get inspired by you.
Example: A new member has joined your team. She is making some mistakes and taking time to learn the new processes and rules. Be patient with her and give her some time to learn new tasks, skills and information. Encourage and guide her.
Since our schooling days, we all have faced one or more conflicts.
Sometimes you may have resolved such conflicts for others. Sometimes others may have helped you to resolve your conflicts. It’s a part of life.
How can you resolve a conflict successfully? By listening to others actively without interrupting them. By showing respect and empathy. By not judging others.
You clearly convey that wins or losses have no place in a conflict, and try to find a common ground between parties. You get them to agree to a compromise, so each party can feel heard and valued.
Example: If there is a disagreement between your relatives, facilitate a calm and respectful conversation to resolve the conflict.
How do you feel when someone genuinely celebrates your accomplishments and wins? You feel joy. You feel confident. You feel appreciated.
Do the same for others. Let them also feel the same that you have felt before.
Celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of others. By doing so, you are motivating them to continue their efforts and do more. You are empowering them. It is a great way to influence others positively.
Example: You have successfully completed a big project because a team member put her exceptional work. Congratulate her for all the hard work and dedication she gave into the project.
Empower your loved ones, friends, and colleagues by supporting their goals.
Encourage them to pursue their passions. Encourage them to dream big. Encourage them to set ambitious goals.
By empowering and supporting others, you tell them that you believe in their strength and capabilities. And, you are there to guide them whenever required.
When you empower others, you not just use words, you take concrete actions to uplift them. You demonstrate that you genuinely want them to grow further and attain great success in life.
Example: Motivate and support a family member who is very passionate about pursuing a new career opportunity.
Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.— George Eliot
Let’s be clear that while we influence others, we must remain wise because influencing is a powerful tool and can be misused if we use the above-mentioned techniques for personal benefits and hidden agendas.
When we influence others, our goals should be fostering meaningful connections and nurturing personal growth in others.
Create an environment of trust and respect for others by practicing empathy, active listening, and understanding.
When you show your genuine interest in others with kindness and compassion, you create strong relationships and harmony around you.
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