What if the best way to become a better influencer is to get better at being influenced?
If you’re good at asking questions, ones that make people stop and think, you know that the key to good questioning skills is better listening.
To know the best question to ask and what question could engage the thinking skills of your counterpart, you have to focus on what they’re saying – often reading between the lines, including the voice and body.
In fact, people often say more with their non-verbal communication than with their verbal.
I believe that allowing yourself to be influenced is the best way to improve your own influencing skills.
This article provides 3 easy ways to help you better influence people while building trust with them.
Influencees Build More Trust
1) Seek out the thoughts and ideas of others – especially ones that challenge you.
If you want to expand your own thinking you need to go beyond simply being open to new ideas – you have to go looking for them.
PRO TIP: For each of your current newsletters ask yourself: Does this provide me inspiration and/or actionable advice? If not, let it go and replace it with one that does.
2) Talk to someone who has a vast different opinion from you and make them explain their reasons for it.
A few years ago I met a guy who was an avid hunter – something I oppose, especially as a sport. However, he articulated his rationale behind his position and was open to my stance.
By listening and not ignoring him, he didn’t change my opinion but I connected with him on a human level. His honesty helped BIG TIME.
Agreeing to disagree is often the best possible outcome when speaking to someone with an opposing position; not speaking (thus not connecting) the worst possible one.
PRO TIP: The next time you meet someone with a radically different opinion from you (re something you care about), take it as a challenge to listen to their reasons for their view. They might not persuade you to see their side but they might influence you in unexpected ways – ways that you wouldn’t have seen if you hadn’t listened to them.
3) Before dismissing that thing you said you’d never do, give it a try.
Have you ever said you would never do something only to change your mind about it after you’d tried it?
If I think about bungee jumping off a bridge at 19, I’m pretty sure I had a higher risk tolerance when I was younger. Fast forward 32 years and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t jump off that bridge…nevertheless, bungee jumping at 51 could have something to teach me – it would certainly kick me out of my comfort zone.
It doesn’t have to be jumping out of an airplane or even off a bridge, but being open to new and even unattractive experiences is key to becoming a better influencee – after all, if you haven’t experienced something you most likely can’t be influenced by it.
I’m not advocating you take an illicit drug or take an irrational risk for the sake of leaving your comfort zone. However, I challenge you to think twice before dismissing that thing that you think is definitely not for you.
PRO TIP: Make a list of 10 things you never want to do (lack of interest or other reason). Go back through the list and underline one or two that you could imagine might result in a positive experience or a key learning.
More Influence For More Trust
Without a doubt, high-impact communication and a more empathic leadership style will help you better influence people.
However, nothing will make you a better influencer than learning how to be a better influencee.
For my FREE ADVICE on how to supercharge this skill, email me at email@example.com and we’ll set up a time to chat.
Never Say Never…
Highly allergic to cats as a child, I told my wife we could never have a cat in our flat. Over the next 17 years we raised three…
Although no longer with us, each one of them taught me countless valuable lessons – how to be present, how to ask for what you want, how to draw boundaries, etc.
After all, the best way to influence anyone to do anything is through example. And nobody leads by example better than a cat.
For my FREE ADVICE on growing trust in your relationships for more influence, drop me a note and let’s chat.