Maximize Your Influence

Is power different than influence?  Absolutely.  One can be influential without having a lot of power.  But as power increases, it gives you more ability to influence.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss some examples of when power is used and what the long term implications are.  Many times as persuaders, parents, co-workers, we fall into the influence/power cycle.  We want somebody to do something and we first try with "carrot." But once somebody refuses or doesn't comply, we go to the stick. This is a mistake.

There is a difference between using power and using force.  When somebody uses power ethically, we are happy to be persuaded by them.  When somebody uses force, they jeopordize the long term relationship.  Is there ever an instance when using force doesn't ruin the relationshp over the long term?  Kurt relates this to the "emotional bank account" as first discussed by Dr Stephen R Covey.  If we ever have to use force, we must make sure that we buffer that with many more postiive interactions. 

Kurt and Steve then discuss various examples and stories of when people have used force too early and too often. While force might be necessary sometimes in short term interactions, it never works when a relationshp needs to be preserved for the long term. 

How do we create genuine power that will help supercharge our business?  "Authority" power is key.  Set the expectations (in a humble way) that you are in charge and are the boss.  "Expert" power is also important.  When people perceive you as the expert you automatically have more power due to your knowledge.  Tactfully letting your prospects know you are an expert (without vomiting features and benefits all over them) will give you expert power.  This is most effectively done when it's presented by third parties.  That's why companies with great online reviews through services like Yelp continue to grow.  Their expertise is projected to the public...but it's done by third parties so it doesn't come across as arrogant or condescending. 

Finally, Kurt and Steve discuss instances when you want to fake like you don't have any power.  Kurt references the tv series "Columbo."  Playing dumb can sometimes give you the time you need to make a better decision.  It also reduces resistance.  In many persuasive encounteres, those who appear less powerful are much more effective.  You should decide on a case by case basis which is more effective: project a powerful presence?  Or go "Columbo?"

Direct download: Podcast_431.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm CDT