Maximize Your Influence

On episode 127 of Maximize Your Influence, Kurt and Steve start by discussing a recent article, the 7 Mental Blocks to Being Rich.  They then transition to part two of their series on qualities of great leaders. 

Intuition is a big part of your future success.  Intuition helps you read and understand people.  It comes in an instant and we have to be ready to act simultaneously.  Some call it a hunch, gut reaction or a feeling.  Intuition is real and can be harnessed to increase your ability to influence and transmit charisma.  Leaders who are able to distinguish between random thoughts and intuition are more successful in life and in business.  Face it, just take a look at CEO’s of large corporations.  They have access to all the logical research they need to make a good, educated decision.  The successful ones will admit that ultimately they have to follow their heart and use personal intuition.  Studies show that the majority of people use intuition, but had a difficult time verbalizing to others why or how it worked. 

As humans, (when we listen) we have the ability to read people from a facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice or even a smell.  This comes from our early programming as humans to be able to meet a person and instantly decide if they are a friend or foe.  Those that have the ability to follow their intuition correctly would be able to sense danger or make a new friend.  We know when we have met someone for the first time that we have categorized them in the first 30 seconds.  We have decided if we like or dislike the person and this comes from our intuition.

I am not saying never to do any research. You should spend some time gathering and analyzing information.  The challenge is that you can gather information for the rest of your life.  At one point you will have to make a decision and it should be from your intuition.  At times you will have to make a quick decision and you should let your intuition guide you.  It is a combination of your feelings, your wisdom and your experience.  This will take a little faith and a little practice.  Learn to stretch yourself.  Don’t limit yourself to the facts or the opinions of other people.  You have to learn to follow your heart and tap into your priceless intuition.

Some of us are afraid to talk about intuition because it is so hard to explain.  Let me tell you that successful people use it every day.  They don’t always openly talk about it, but it is being used.  Intuition is more valuable than you realize.  It is used to enhance our creativity, charisma and increases our ability to connect with others.  Sure, super analytical people tend to shoot down intuition as woo-woo or something that is just a myth, but it is a skill you can learn and master.  Just because you don’t understand how it works, does not mean that it does not work.

Intuition expands our ability to tap into our previous experience, our knowledge and our stored memories.  We might not remember what memories or experience we are drawing on, but it was something we already have learned and it is expressed as a gut feeling.  The main obstacle that impedes us from following our intuition is convincing ourselves that it works and should be taken seriously.  What are you listening for?  How does your intuition talk to you?  It can be called impulse, urge or even that inner voice.  Start listening and you will save yourself a lot of time, energy and money.

Our instincts can evaluate our previous experiences, sense the emotions of the moment and rely on past knowledge.  We are always receiving constant information through our intuition.  We just need to listen.  As you practice using your intuition, new and inspiring ideas will intuitively and instinctively arise on their own.  You will be able to solve problems fast.  Learn to focus and concentrate, this type of focus will nurture and augment your newfound inner strength and instinct.  Sure your logical mind will fight you on these new thoughts and ideas, but eventually your new found intuition will win.

Direct download: Podcast_127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am CDT

After speculating about good dining in San Francisco and briefly insulting their listeners there, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent article about whether great leaders are born or made.  They then launch into a discussion about the qualities of good leaders. 

People who know where they are going are able captivate, are passionate and are charismatic.  You can tell when you meet them and when they enter a room.  People are drawn to them because deep down people want to be passionate about something and when they see that passion in your eyes, you become more charismatic.  They sense that you can help them and improve their lives.  This does not guarantee everyone will like you, but they will respect you for your conviction and your passion. 

Passion is very contagious.  When you transfer this passion, the people around you start to radiate that passion.  They perform better, if it is at work, it is no longer work.  They become more proactive, more willing to work as a team and become more optimistic.  When you have tapped into this passion you become more determined and it increases your persistence.  It starts to become a burning desire and consumes you and it radiates to others.  A word of caution, just because you are passionate does not mean you can forego learning the skills you need to be successful.  It is a critical piece of the charisma pie, but you still need more pieces of the pie to radiate powerful long-term charisma.

More than anything else, passion recruits the hearts and minds of your audience.  Charismatics radiate heartfelt passion.  When the audience can sense your passion and sincere conviction for your cause, they will emotionally jump on board.  We all love people who are excited and filled with believable passion for their subject.  Passion is critical to influencing others and transmitting charisma.  When you have passion for something, you want to let everyone know about it.  You want to convert as many people to your cause as possible, and when someone disagrees with you, you are not swayed by their opinions or advice. 

Direct download: Podcast_126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20pm CDT

One of the aspects of the Law of Association is the use of affiliation. Persuaders want you to affiliate their company with positive images, feelings, and attitudes. Our surroundings and environment trigger feelings and we transfer those feelings to those we are with. For example, one frequently used technique is to take someone to lunch. Food can also generate subconscious triggers (if the food and company are good). The studies show that subjects like people better when they were eating.  Food gives us good feelings and a better attitude.

The idea is to link something positive in the environment with your message. For example, a good game of golf, a weekend at the beach, NFL tickets, or an exotic cruise would all typically build positive associations and feelings in your prospects. Do ever notice after a crushing victory, sweatshirts sporting the university's logo were seen all over the place? People want to be associated with winners. In fact, a study showed that when a university football team won, more students would wear that college's sweatshirts the next week. The bigger the victory, the more college sweatshirts become visible. When you bring positive stimuli into the situation, you will be associated with the pleasant feeling you have created.   

Advertisers and marketers use affiliation to evoke valuable associations in the minds of their prospects. They know that babies and puppy dogs automatically carry great associations of warmth and comfort in the minds of their audience. Consequently, we see tire commercials with babies and car commercials with puppies, even though cars and tires aren't really warm and cuddly. These warm appeals grab our attention and create positive associations in our mind.

One of the most common examples of advertising affiliation occurs with alcohol and cigarette advertisements. How often do you see a lung cancer patient in a cigarette ad? Instead, advertisers in these industries use young vibrant people who are in the prime of their lives. The beer companies want you to associate drinking beer with having fun and attracting the opposite sex. Their ads portray images of men and women having fun, while surrounded by beer. Their message is, "If you aren't drinking, you aren't having fun." On an intellectual level, we all know that these are just advertisements, but the associations they arouse in us stick in our minds and trigger future purchases.

Sponsorship is also used in advertising. Companies and organizations sponsor events that they believe will produce a positive association in the eyes of the public. They hope this positive association will transfer over to their company. The SuperBowl pulls huge sponsorships—companies pay big money to get their name and products associated with the SuperBowl.

Direct download: Podcast_125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm CDT

Neuroscientists have made significant progress on how the brain processes information.  Our brain can be very bias.  This is especially true in politics.  People will always see the good in their party and find the bad in the other.  During an election a scientist asked questions about their candidate and the candidate from the other side while getting an MRI.  When they were told information about their candidate that caused dissonance, the logical side of their brain would shut down and they could not see the bias.

When participants were asked to view a political debate, it was found that the mere presence of a confederate who cheered for one of the candidates influenced the participant's overall evaluation of that candidate in a positive manner.  Obviously, when receiving information in a social setting, the audience can be skewed to perceive the information the way the group tends to hear it.

Direct download: Podcast_124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm CDT