Leadership is all about influence. Gone are the days when a leader could bark out the orders and people obeyed without question. Nowadays, people are more educated, autonomous and have higher expectations of their leaders. People want to be engaged, included, inspired and free to influence how their work gets done. So while leaders try to influence others, they also need to be open to being influenced by others. It’s a two-way street.
So if you try to influence others without being open to being influenced yourself, you will get trapped in a downward spiral of manipulation.
In How to Influence Others…Ethically we suggest that you follow these three principles:
Principle #1: There can be no influence without rapport. Establishing and maintaining rapport is absolutely essential to gaining trust and consequently being influential. Think of it as “being on the same page” or “singing from the same song-sheet”, to use some common terms.
Principle #2: Learn the key to establishing and maintaining rapport. To establish rapport, talk with the person, in the language or words of the person, about the things that matter most to that person. Using DiSC, this could be phrased as ‘talk with the style, in the language or words of the style, about the things that matter most to the style’. Maintaining this ‘other focus’ is essential to gaining trust and influencing ethically.
Principle #3: Give to get. Once you have understood what the other person needs, explore ways to help them fulfill those needs. They in turn will help you achieve what you need. Dr. Robert Cialdini, renowned expert and author on influence, calls this RECIPROCITY.
If you truly desire to influence others ethically, follow these three principles and watch how your influence grows!
Check out the following resources to help you become a better influencer: