Yes, You Can Develop the Power To Change Anything!
Q: What is everyone's favorite radio station?
"What's in it for me?"
This is the question each and every one of us uses to determine whether or not we will take action. If you want to influence others, you must understand this basic human tendency. Nobody will develop a new skill, change their approach or adopt a new process unless they know what's in it for them.
People don't have a problem changing. They just want to know there is an advantageous reason for changing. Until they understand what's in it for them and how it will benefit them, you can't wield influence.
In the first article in this series about managing your influence, we will examine two sources of personal influence that you can draw upon to help enact change.
Wielding Personal Influence: Making The Undesirable Desirable
Millions of people wake up each day and say, "Today is the day I begin my exercise regimen." And most of those people will abandon that regimen rather quickly because exercise is painful and often boring. They aren't weak; they simply don't see what's "in it" for them. To create desirable behaviors in others, you've must do two important things that equate change to something personal:
- Create new experiences: Instead of a boring experience, you can make change fun. Nobody would watch sports if there were no scoreboards. Create new experience through gamification and competition. Scores and rewards make everything more exciting, and motivate people to engage in activities they wouldn't otherwise tackle.
- Create new motives: You can do this by connecting the motive to a person's sense of self. How can changing this particular behavior help that person achieve personal and professional goals? Tie into the things that they value.
Pushing People to Surpass Their Limits
We tend to think that talents are born, more so than developed. However, all of the natural talent in the world will only carry you so far. This concept also applies to personal influence. People can't be expected to learn a new skill, adopt a new process or engage in something outside their comfort zone without deliberate practice.
- Demand full attention for brief intervals: Short periods of intense focus, where nothing else matters except developing the desired skill, behavior, process, etc.
- Provide immediate feedback against a clear standard: Know what you want the individual or group to achieve in a practice session. Compare results to pre-set, clear standards.
- Break mastery into mini-goals: Milestones are important. When someone achieves a mini-goal, they build confidence, and confidence motivates them to move on to the next goal.
- Prepare for setbacks: Early success can make a failure more devastating. Introduce new skills gradually and develop a plan for learning to bounce back from failure.
When it comes to personal influence, don't be afraid to make the change you want to see as a game or competition. Tie the results into their personal value system and provide them with the tools, time and space to practice.