Book: Win People Over

Win_People_Over“Win People Over: 75 Simple and Powerful Ways to Influence Anyone” By Karen Leong
  • “‘Like most young children they also have an erratic attention span. We use trips to McDonald’s, the promise of a weekend trip to the beach, more pocket money… the usual stuff we all use to get them to study.’ A number of people in the room were nodding by now. ‘I know that sounds manipulative, but I’m only doing it because I am their mother and I love them and want them to do better in life. It’s all about them. I believe that such influencing is not manipulative; not if the intent is honest.’”
  • “So for the purpose of this book, we will assume that you seek to become more influential for altruistic reasons— if you believe that your aim is to help someone do better, live better, when it’s about them, you can say that you are influencing, not manipulating.”
  • “Because how much we like and respect a person in turn impacts how much they influence us.”
  • “Simply put, likeability and respect are the two pillars of influence .”
  • “Note that I stress the word ‘currently’ to emphasise that all of us evolve and adapt our influencing style depending on the environment we function in and what we perceive is the need of the hour. A good example of this is the solitary male functioning in an all-female team ; he will usually tend to leverage more likeability than respect. On the flip side, a lady heading an all-male team, or functioning in a male-dominant field would tend to use more respect -enhancing actions to exert influence.”
  • “When I asked Matthew how the boss showed this clarity, he replied, ‘It is so visible in the way he talks. He always begins with statements like ‘we need to look for the three major factors’, or ‘there are four things we need to focus on’,’ Matthew explained . ‘It is so obvious that he has thought through the issue at hand and sorted it in his head before he speaks.'”
  • “Translate the quality you admire in an influential person you personally know into one simple, visible action you can use to show more of this desired quality.”
  • “You already instinctively leverage likeability and respect depending on the person you are interacting with and the manner in which you seek to influence him or her. The better you are at assessing a situation and the wider the arsenal of likeability- and respect-enhancing actions at your disposal, the more easily you will be able to influence others.”
  • “Four factors (your natural personality, gender, role models and current situation) may shape your natural influencing style. Being aware of your default influencing style helps you to decide when to leverage on it, or switch to an alternative style which may work better in certain situations.”
  • “Likeability and respect are not mutually exclusive.”
  • “The Latent influencing style is neutral on likeability and respect factors.”
  • “A good example of a Latent is the specialist in the company, who focuses primarily on the technical aspects of the job and on getting things done in his or her individual capacity. They relish seemingly solitary and independent roles, and do not see any value in collaborating or working with other people. This influencing style suits roles that are well defined, and supported by established processes and systems.”
  • “A Latent may also be in the midst of transition. This could be a move to a new role, new company, or new country. During this period of change, the Latent adopts a ‘wait and see’ stance, figuring that this is best for the current purpose. By reducing visibility, observing the situation and getting a sense of the environment, the Latent can better identify the appropriate influencing style to exert at a later stage.”
  • “Situations that Latents thrive in
    • When emotions are running high and a cooling-off period is required.
    • When another person is fronting the influencing and being in the background is more favourable.
    • When there is no clear visibility on what action to take, and a wait-and-see approach might yield better (or at least, less damaging) results.
    • When negotiating with an as-yet unknown or unfamiliar entity. Adopting a lower profile focusing on observing the dynamics at play, enables one to read the situation more accurately first, before making a considered move.”
  • “Situations where Latents need to be more alert
    • When one needs to work with people to achieve results. This covers a wide range of situations as we seldom work independently of people nowadays. So, unless you are on a deserted island, you will benefit from interacting and influencing people.
    • Whenthere is a change of environment. Latents need to be mindful of impending change that threatens to encroach into their comfort zone. Think corporate re-structuring, a new boss, or heightened competition. In such instances, it may be essential for Latents to shore up their visibility, demonstrate their value and build positive relationships , before the change.
    • When dealing with people of different profiles. Because Latents rely more on observations than communication, they are prone to making wrong assumptions, especially of people from different backgrounds, personality types and motivations. They tend to ask less questions and miss opportunities to build deeper understanding of people.”
  • “The Power Distant influencing style lays a lot of emphasis on being respected and less on being liked.”
  • “An easily identifiable example of a Power Distant is a manager who always uses his or her rank (position in the hierarchy, or the authority vested in it) to make people toe the line. A softer and more refined example would be the specialist in your office , who dazzles with the depth of his or her knowledge or subject matter expertise.”
  • “Self-assurance and confidence. Most Power Distants are ambitious and determined to leave their mark on this world. They are acknowledged for their more visible qualities, such as intellect, discipline, clarity of thought and strong work ethics.”
  • “A focus on results. They are usually in a hurry, impatient to see results and want other people to get to the point. By and large, Power Distants are private individuals, and do not believe in wasting time on small talk.”
  • “Prioritisation of position and authority. Power Distants value success and the power it brings.”
  • “Expertise and knowledge. The primary reason we respect Power Distants is generally because they have demonstrated their expertise.”
  • “Perceived arrogance and emotional distance. Their confidence is often mistaken for arrogance, because they generally are more focused on the task than their people. By paying less attention to people’s emotions, there is a greater feeling of disconnect in a relationship— personal and/ or professional.”
  • “Lack of respect. Striving to be respected, Power Distants often use their authority to push for the desired outcome. They forget that respect is earned, not simply given, and that respect is higher when the other person also likes you.”
  • “Power Distants who attempt to influence by instilling fear may succeed in getting their way in the short-term; however, they would tend to lose the battle for people’s hearts. Once their usefulness has run its course, the lack of likeability can lead to their downfall.”
  • “Self-centredness. Power Distants strive to be recognised and stand apart from everyone else on factors such as status, brilliance, authority, wealth and success. Not content to blend into the crowd, Power Distants are inclined to show their competitive nature more frequently, believing in ‘every man for himself’.”
  • “Status consciousness and a lack of empathy. Power Distants tend to use likeability very selectively. This is usually reserved for people in positions of authority whom they respect, or are in a position to help them get what they want.”
  • “Situations that Power Distants thrive in • Enforcing discipline.
    • Where credibility and expertise are essential.
    • When time is critical, and the ability to handle a crisis situation is imperative.
    • When encountering a challenging scenario where strong, dominant leadership needs to be displayed.”
  • “Situations where Power Distants need to be more alert
    • Whenthe stick (or carrot) is not big enough. Power Distants focus on changing minds, rather than winning hearts. People may or may not agree with their point of view, but will generally act according to the wishes of a Power Distant primarily because of the fear of loss, or the promise of personal benefit. When this authority is removed , or when the Power Distant stops brandishing the stick or carrot, people may no longer be motivated to follow him.”
    • “When they cannot be physically present. Power Distants need to put in greater effort to push things forward, as they exert influence through dominance and authority, rather than ensuring buy-in.”
    • “When emotions are running high. Lack of likeability may often lead to festering dislike or (in extreme situations) even hate, and easily give rise to negative consequences.”
  • “Winning hearts starts with understanding people’s motivations and uncovering what they really want. Aligning their self-interests with what you want them to do will immediately bring down your effort since you will no longer need to push so hard or be present all the time.”
  • “Instead of driving people towards your point of view, you can spend less energy by supporting them in doing the things you both want.”
  • “A Populist is high on the likeability ladder and generally lower on respect.”
  • “High empathy and good people skills. Populists are generally giving and generous individuals. This is fuelled by their relational and sensitive nature. High on empathy, they are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and see things from their point of view.”
  • “Great team workers, with the ability to harmonise group decisions. Populists seek consensus, and love it when they feel they are part of a big, happy family. They attach great importance to being accepted, and generally thrive in a supportive environment .”
  • “Positive worldview. Populists are more trusting and tend to believe that the world is made up of more good than bad.”
  • “Friendly presence. What makes them special is their friendly and engaging personality. Most populists are natural extroverts, and can charm people with humour, wit and presence. Populists thrive on being in the spotlight, and being acknowledged gives them the motivation to go the extra mile. Likewise, their strength lies in encouraging people and making them feel good.”
  • “When the stakes are not too high, and you want to support a friend, you would probably allow yourself to be influenced by the Populist. However, when the stakes go up and credibility becomes key, you are less likely to let them influence you.”
  • “They are less assertive. Because Populists place a priority on being liked, they often find it hard to say ‘No’.”
  • “They find it hard to go against popular opinion. Populists are generally uncomfortable taking a stand, especially one that goes against the majority opinion. They much prefer building harmony to making hard decisions, often even when they believe the decision is not the best one.”
  • “They may come across as inauthentic. In their efforts to please everyone, they pander to people’s emotions , which may come across as ‘playing to the gallery’, that is, being overly political or politically correct. For example, you may not fully trust a Populist to give you candid feedback, because you doubt that they will say anything to upset you and are likely to say what you want to hear, and not what they really think.”
  • “Situations that Populists thrive in
    • Stableenvironments, where the going is good and there is no need to make tough decisions. They can leverage on their strengths in building rapport and harmonising the group.
    • Whenthe stakes are not too high, Populists can easily influence people on account of the heart-to-heart relationship.”
  • “When they try too hard to please. When it comes to high-stakes decisions, where credibility is crucial, Populists may face an uphill battle while trying to influence people. Due to their eagerness to please they may be perceived as less experienced, have less authority or leadership qualities, thus their words carry less weight. Simply put, people may trust their intentions, but not their capability to deliver during a crisis or high-stakes issue.”
  • “When they need to make a stand. In challenging environments where one is required to demonstrate assertiveness and take decisive action , Populists need to be aware of their natural inclination to avoid confrontation or go with what is popular. Instead, Populists can leverage on their natural people skills to soften the impact of unpopular but essential initiatives.”
  • Ways for populists to be more influencing:
    • “Showing more gravitas while communicating your ideas (or opinions). A simple way is to speak in a confident and measured tone. This will enable you to come across as a credible authority and people are then more likely to trust your experience and expertise.
    • Likewise, standing up for your convictions and displaying a sense of purpose will not just infuse people with enthusiasm; it will also inspire them to act on your ideas.
    • Displayyour competence, so that you are known not just for your sociable abilities. This way, you can become a bona fide leader, not just a cheerleader.
    • Do not make the mistake of surrounding yourself with ‘yes men’, or less capable people to mask your insecurities.
    • Soliciting candid feedback and tapping into people’s talents will help you to make better decisions, and more importantly, grow as a leader.”
  • “This beautiful blend of being liked and respected is what gives rise to the Compelling Influencer. When we touch both the heart and the head, we inspire people to like our intentions and trust our capability.”
  • “This trust is the bedrock of influence.”
  • “Through our conversations, he realised this and soon got busy selecting an action to boost respect. He eventually came up with, ‘I am now going to smile only when I feel there is a good reason to.’”
  • “I also started speaking more slowly and deliberately, and was listening more . I realised that made me feel more confident and I could better focus on getting my team up to speed in meeting their targets.”
  • “Understand people’s motivations and uncover what they really want to enhance likeability . Aligning their self-interests with what you want them to do will immediately bring down your effort since you will no longer need to push so hard or be present all the time.”
  • “Support people in doing the things you both want, instead of driving people towards your point of view, to increase likeability.”
  • “While communicating your ideas (or opinions), speaking in a confident and measured tone will enable you to come across as a credible authority. People are then more likely to trust your experience and expertise.”
  • “Standing up for your convictions and displaying a sense of purpose will not just infuse people with enthusiasm; it will also inspire them to act on your ideas.”
  • “Versatility, not ability, is the key to being a Compelling Influencer. It is being able to rapidly analyse a situation, identify which factor you need to show more of (likeability or respect) and then display that through simple visible actions.”
  • “In other words, curiosity can be considered the mother of creativity. Curiosity gives us the tools to collect information, and creativity empowers us to explore new possibilities.”
  • “A curious person is naturally more influential, because his curiosity enables him to seek to understand what is important to another person . This awareness fuels his creativity, such that he can select actions that increase both likeability and respect.”
  • “Another classic manifestation of this wanting to appear wise is when you see people who complete other peoples’ sentences, because they assume they already know what the other person is going to say or is implying.”
  • “Qualitatively, being able to clearly see the results will not only establish the value but also ensure we put in the effort willingly.”
  • “Write out the names of five to seven people you wish to influence. You may find it useful to look 360 degrees around you.”
  • “Look at it logically— creating a favourable first impression enables you to build rapport faster and with much less effort, since the other person would be open to connecting with you due to your having made a favourable impression. This in turn enables you to deepen the emotional connection naturally and hence exert influence effortlessly.”
  • “More often than not, since no rapport has been built, you will automatically throw up your guard and start raising objections or making excuses.”
  • “That is why seasoned sales professionals focus first on the person and not the product. They start by making a favourable first impression. Then they build rapport, making sure you are comfortable with them. Once this is done they proceed to deepen the emotional connection, thereby automatically gaining an understanding of what is really important to you. This not only enables them to discover your ‘hot buttons’; it also enables them to calibrate their sales pitch accordingly.”
  • “Let us take a closer look at what happens when we meet someone for the first time. We intuitively seek answers to the following questions: first, do I like this person? Can we trust their intentions? If the answer is no, the conversation stops.”
  • “There is a positive feeling associated with respect. And that’s because likeability is at the heart of respect. When we respect someone , we have feelings of likeability for them too.”
  • “If you try to gain the respect of someone, without them liking you first, what you are seeking and often end up with is not respect. For example, people who show off their wealth, success and power in order to put others down often incite feelings of jealousy and hatred instead.”
  • “People who leverage on their authority or position to get things done without regard for others’ feelings may think they are getting ‘grudging respect’ but it is mostly grudge .”
  • “According to a widely cited study by UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian, the factors that account for creating first impressions are:
    • Visual(appearance and body language)— 55 per cent
    • Vocal(tone of voice)— 38 per cent
    • Verbal (choice of words)— 7 per cent”
  • “John did. “I am amazed how you manage to smile all the time! I think if you smiled a little less, perhaps only when there is a reason to, it will help to give you more composure.”
  • “First impressions tend to be lasting ones.”
  • “Conduct an annual wardrobe review. This simple act of spring-cleaning is not only fun, but also helps to ensure our clothes clearly communicate the image we wish to. Doing it annually is a good idea since it will help us cater to the current need and fashion trends.”
  • “When we like someone we usually greet them with open gestures or, depending on the context, a warm handshake, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the back or a hug . The non-verbal message we are communicating is, ‘I like you’ or ‘I trust your intentions’. And we must not forget that, keeping in view the principle of reciprocity, open gestures are usually met with openness from the other person too.”
  • “People with an erect posture are perceived to be more confident and competent.”
  • “A smile is the fastest and simplest way to communicate, ‘I like you’. I cannot emphasise this enough— people like people who like them. Not only does smiling make you more attractive to people, it also lifts your mood and enhances your life.”
  • “Do note that though smiling is a powerful influencing force, putting on a perennial smile can seem fake, and may make you seem too eager to please.”
  • “Allow a second or two to pass when you first make eye contact with someone. This brief pause makes the other person feel that your smile is sincere and specially for him or her.”
  • “One way to establish confident and comfortable eye contact is to match your intervals with the person you are communicating with. Break your eye contact at similar intervals. This simple technique is called mirroring and generally gets powerful results. Remember: people feel most comfortable with people who are in sync with them, and hence, like them more.”
  • “Conversely, people who talk too fast tend to appear overly excited or nervous. Their speech tends to be peppered with fillers such as “Er… Um… You know… Really… Like…”, which crowds out the real message. When you replace these fillers with a pause, you enhance your clarity of thought and precision.”
  • “Even during our influence workshops, a lot of people share that a lower pitch and deeper tone communicates more gravitas, and thus sounds more like a leader.”
  • “Thus, to project a naturally self-assured and confident you, all you need to do is relax.”
  • “The quality of our conversations determines the quality of our relationships with people.”
  • “the main attribute of rapport conversations : they start with asking questions. When you are interested in people and seek to understand them, you will obviously ask questions. Now if these questions are focused on them, they will not only enjoy the attention and feel appreciated and engaged; they will also help you to find that common ground.”
  • “Imagine the direction and quality of the conversation if you asked something as simple as, “What do you enjoy most about the work you do?” Now the conversation will be more about the person, and less about the work they do.”
  • “How did you get started in this business/ career?”
  • “Sometimes the simplest way to get the other person talking is to share something about your work , thoughts and family. This not only helps to make the other person feel more comfortable; it also communicates that you trust them enough to open up.”
  • “One of the cleverest suggestions shared by a workshop participant was to ask, “How do you manage to keep a work-life balance?” This question combines Work, Thoughts and Family at one go! It’s a great question to ask in a professional context, and one that naturally leads to more personal questions.”
  • “the fact is that when you change the quality of the conversation, the quality of the relationship changes automatically.”
  • “Rebuild rapport each time. Re-establishing rapport paves the way to fruitful conversations and rewarding relationships.”
  • “Spending a lot of time with someone does not automatically translate into an emotional connection.”
  • “Conversely , there are times we meet someone and because of the quality of the conversation discover we have many things in common, and click— the relationship is as close as possible.”
  • “And do keep in mind that you must build rapport first, before seeking to establish an emotional connection. Otherwise you run the risk of making the other person uncomfortable.”
  • Inspiration questions:
    • “What inspires you?
    • Whatis most important to you at this point of your life?
    • Whatare your priorities in life right now?
    • Whatare your goals in the next five years?
    • Ifyou could do anything, what would that be?
    • Ifyou know you would not fail, what would you take on?
    • Whatgets you out of bed, every day?
    • Whatdoes your perfect life look like?
    • Whatis on top of your bucket list right now?
    • Ifyou were happily retired, what would life look like?”
  • Questions about fears:
    • “What is stopping you from living your inspiration?
    • Whatis a challenge you currently face?
    • Whatfrustrates you?
    • Whatare the roadblocks that you wish you could overcome?
    • Whatkeeps you awake at night?”
  • Next question to ask: “How can I help you?”
  • “So if I wish to change my relationship with someone…”“Then you should try and change the word that you associate with them. As long as you think of her as a ‘selfish’ person, you will always minimise help, support or suggestions to her. In fact, you deem that everything she does seeks to benefit herself and so you are often on your guard.”
  • “Dear reader, whenever the word we associate with someone is negative, the communication that exists will be at a superficial level, or even non-existent. It is only by neutralising the word that we can change the pattern of connection , and pave the way for more understanding. Try ‘misunderstood’ if you can’t think of a better word.”
  • “People like to be around those who make them feel good.”
  • “People with a cheerful attitude communicate positively. This makes people around them feel more enthusiastic and energised. Consequently, cheerful people are well liked; after all, who doesn’t like people who make them feel good?”
  • “Firstly, notice that cheerful people phrase their sentences constructively (rather than critically).”
  • “Secondly, cheerful people tend to seek (and thus spot) more opportunities than problems.”
  • “Thirdly, this in turn gives them greater resilience, ensuring cheerful people bounce back more often than not, even in the face of extreme adversity.”
  • “At the start of each day, set aside time to do some things that make you feel good. Positive moods lead to positive behaviour, which in turn attracts more desirable results.”
  • “Try this: find five nice things about five different people, and compliment them. You may be surprised by two things: firstly , you will always find these nice things. People always find what they seek. Secondly, you will be amazed at the ripple effect this sets off, and the feeling of positivity it leaves you with. Remember that when you focus on people’s strengths, they are inspired to use it and show more of it. And when they do that, they feel good about themselves and also about you.”
  • “Ensure that your conversations are focused on solutions, rather than dwelling on problems.”
  • “Positive words impact our emotions and thoughts positively. Words of gratitude and appreciation cheer people up and make your world a happier place.”
  • “Do you often use words like ‘have to’, ‘need to’ or ‘should’ ? If so, have you considered replacing them with more positive words such as ‘want’,‘would like’ or ‘get to’?”
  • “One great way to create a positive experience for someone is by sharing their joy: a wedding, a new baby, new business, or a promotion— these are all joyous occasions worth celebrating. And you can do so by sending a card, a gift, calling to congratulate them or perhaps hosting celebratory drinks!”
  • “Care is such an influential trait because when people feel you care, they trust your intentions . Care is also very easy to display, since all you have to do is put people first, and connect with them from your heart.”
  • To show empathy
    • “Listen. Just be present and listen actively. Listen not just with your ears, but with your mind being present, your eyes making contact and your body feeling and responding to the answers.”
    • “Seek to understand. When you use open-ended questions such as “What do you think about this?” or “Why do you feel this way?” you encourage others to open up and share more with you. This understanding helps you to relate to whatever is important to them.”
  • Words of affirmation: “In addition to saying ‘Great job!’, share why it was great. You could say, ‘Sally, I really liked how you included the financial impact of this project. It really drove home the point that we need to take action immediately. Well done.’ This not only shows that you were paying attention; it tells Sally you meant it. Words of affirmation also have the most impact when said immediately after the act. So share them as soon as you recognise people have earned them. By shining the spotlight on people, you will satisfy their deepest desire to be appreciated. They will appreciate you in return by liking and respecting you; automatically making you more influential.”
  • Acts of service: “Firstly, be an information broker—help people get their hands on needed information by highlighting a relevant website or forwarding articles of interest. Secondly, be a connector— link up people with beneficial contacts. Your sphere of influence will naturally grow as you add value to and connect more people.”
  • Gifts with personal touch: “The thought is invaluable— which is the core of the ‘For everything else there’s MasterCard’ ad campaign. The ads are reminders that care for others cannot be bought with money.”
  • “Whenever you play an active role in helping people to attain their desired goals, they will know that you have their best interests at heart.”
  • “People feel more comfortable trusting those who display a clear sense of direction and purpose. When you are more confident, people around you are more likely to feel confident and follow your lead.”
  • To show more confidence:
    • “Stand tall with head held high. This open posture not only makes you appear bigger, you also exude more energy and gravitas. Such positive vibes put people at ease.”
    • “Enthusiasm rejuvenates the listeners and gets them excited. With passion you can always touch people’s hearts and motivate them to take action.”
    • “Firstly, take ownership of the situation. For example, when a person says, ‘This is not my job’, it may sound petty and convey a lack of desire to contribute. Is it not so much better to word it more powerfully as, ‘This is not really my area of expertise. Let me see whom I can point you to”? Likewise, when someone declares “It’s not my fault’, they appear defensive and seem to be shirking responsibility . Isn’t it more useful to say, ‘Let me better understand the issue. We can then figure out how to rectify the situation’? That certainly appears more decisive and solutions-focused.”
    • “Being proactive is the hallmark of a leader. By stepping up, you exude natural confidence. It is not surprising to find people gravitating to you when you reach out first.”
    • “Sharing your expertise showcases your knowledge and experience. People start respecting you as an authority.”
  • “You display candour when you say what you mean, and mean what you say— being honest. Candour is a disarming quality because when people think you speak your mind, they let their guard down and believe what you say. It opens the door to trust in a very short amount of time.”
  • “‘If a person is maintaining good eye contact with you, he appears more honest, as opposed to someone with shifty eyes . They would seem to have something to hide,’ said one MDRT member.”
  • To show more candor:
    • “Acknowledge that there is value in what the other person has said with a simple, “You have raised an important issue”, or, “I understand your perspective”. This builds rapport and makes them more open to your ideas.
    • Agreein principle with something like, “Yes, we need to deal with this”, “I agree it’s an important issue”, “We are both on the same page here” , or “Yes, things can’t stay as they are”. This deepens the rapport and makes them even more open to what comes next.
    • Add your viewpoint or ask your question. However, start with the word ‘and’ (not ‘but’). A simple phrase like , ‘And I would like to mention that another way to look at this issue is…’, or ‘Another possible point to be considered is…’ will work. This will allow you to share your opinion naturally by widening the frame of reference, or introducing a completely different perspective. This also opens the discussion to clarifying questions like ‘How would that work in practice?’ When you ask clarifying questions (as opposed to challenging or confrontational ones), you will always appear more reasonable, understanding of the other person’s position, and a lot more collaborative.”
  • “if you address people directly, face-to-face, you communicate that you sincerely want to resolve the situation, not exploit it for political reasons. This establishes you as a person with good intentions.”
  • “The desire to make a difference shifts our focus from ourselves to others. It gives us a purpose that is larger than ourselves and brings with it a strong sense of conviction and self-belief, making us more naturally influential.”
  • “Contribute. No matter how big or small the act, people who reach out to impact the lives of other people always get more than they give; they are memorable and influential. By giving, you get enriched far more, spiritually and emotionally.”

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