We Are Born to Influence
These days, it’s impossible to walk down the street without experiencing the power of influence. Even if the street is completely empty, beckonings, warnings, sales pitches and opinions fill every conceivable angle of our vision. This exposure to influence begins with our earliest sense of self, at the moment we acknowledge we are not alone and experience desire in some form. For most of us, this begins at birth.
With that first infantile desire emerges a natural instinct as to how to obtain what we want. Infants are not able to rationalize, prioritize or otherwise communicate outside of their own desires, yet they get what they want by opening their cute little mouths and letting it rip.
This first taste of the power of influence begins a process of developing and understanding our inherent powers in that regard. While social and domestic variables conspire to take this ability to different places and levels, the universal fact is that it is there within us, always available as a power to be reckoned with.
Whether that power emerges as harnessing influence to get what we want, or succumbing to it and becoming helpless against the desires of others, remains an issue not so much of fate as of comprehension.In other words, some get it and some don’t.
Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that relying on face-to-face meetings is the most effective influencing strategy of all.
Perhaps more than any other aspects of leadership and career empowerment, the art of influencing others depends on the following :
- the ability to craft your thoughts and present clearly, strategically and persuasively,
- the ability to apply the proper tools and
- the power of scientifically proven human psychology to the effort.
It all begins and ends with an outward-facing understanding of your audience and shaping your intentions to create a win-win situation that plays into their sense of worthiness, fulfillment and the better good of all.
We face tens of thousands of minor and major interactions every day that guide or steer us in one direction or another. While all this influencing and nudging is perhaps becoming more obvious as we get older, it’s been a factor from the moment we released our first gut-wrenching screams upon entering this life.