Positive Power & Influence: The Art of Drawing In
8 Minute Read
"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another."
- George Elliot
Pause for a moment. Do you recall someone in your life that made a huge impact on you and the way you perceived yourself and the world around you? What was it about that person? How did he or she inspire and shape you?
Growing up I was deeply influenced by someone whose integrity, resilience and wisdom continue to live within me. And often, when I find myself in a situation where I have not been, I stop and think... What would she do?
This person influenced me intentionally and consciously. Whether we realize it or not, in every interaction we have, there's a potential for influence if we choose so.
It's about becoming more conscious and aware of all the micro and macro possibilities of how this could shape and impact our life and the lives of others.
It's about being intentional instead of passive. And aligning your power and influence with your goals and values.
Influence is definitely not something new. It's a part of the dynamics of human relationships, and even though some people instinctively assert influence on others, there's an art behind it that allows everyone to practice the skills of influence and positive impact.
The rise of influence
In recent years influencer has become a job and we see the term constantly being used in social media. It's not that people didn't influence before, it's that now, with facebook, instagram, twitter, and snapchat, most people understand that they have the potential to influence others by what and how they communicate via social media.
If you can influence people, you can get people to buy from you, sponsor you, work with or for you, get your ideas across...all of which in turn, make you more likely to achieve your goals.
We all want to be around people who emanate positive power, a power that is drawn from within and comes from a sense of self-trust and ease of being and doing.
We're drawn to them in ways that we often can't accurately describe by words. To those of you who want to understand and hone the skills of positive power and influence, this is for you.
Defining influence and positive power
According to the dictionary, influence is defined by the power of people or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions of others.
To be a compelling force on others you need energy. And energy is the potential of power that you bring to any situation or circumstance.
These are simple notions, that we often neglect to use intentionally and in an effective way.
If you want to increase your power to influence, you need to come to a situation knowing what your influence goal is, and then use your energy to achieve that goal.
The situational influence model
In this model, you can use your energy, or power to influence any situation, in one of three ways:
- Move away
You use push energy when you bring people in towards your influence goal. You do that by the way you think, feel and behave. It's all about sharing who you are, what you think and believe, and in doing so, shaping the way another person thinks and, ultimately, behaves.
You know you're using push energy efficiently if you're seen as someone who moves things forward, who makes things happen. If you use push energy unconsciously or too much you can be seen as pushy and people will feel trapped instead of drawn to you.
You use pull energy when you utilize another person's energy to lead them towards your influence goal. Pull energy is about the other person, what they want, need and expect from you is your main focus point. You're not obliged to agree with them but you need to genuinely and authentically care to understand how they're thinking and feeling.
If you use pull energy intentionally and optimally, you'll be seen as somewhat magnetic, people will be drawn to you and want to work with you. If you misuse or overuse it, people will feel manipulated or sucked in and will likely withdraw their attention.
Moving away energy is what happens when you withdraw your energy from a situation. You can remove your energy from a situation in one of two ways: consciously, intentionally and temporarily, which leads to a positive and constructive perception. Or unconsciously, as a way of giving up on your influence goals, which will be deemed as unproductive and negative.
The push, pull and move away energies by themselves are neither positive or negative, but if used well and intentionally can move you closer to your goals.
Each different style is made of different behaviors. Behaviors are what we do and what we say. Aligning intention, thinking, language and behavior will create the foundation for positive power and influence.
Within the push energy, there are two influence styles:
- Persuading (the "it style"). Comes from the head. This style is all about logic, facts, data, and rationale. It's conveying what you think and know to influence others through logic and rationale.
- Asserting (the "I style"). Comes from the heart. It's all about you (the influencer), what you need and how you feel. And it works best if both you and the other person have something to gain or lose.
Within the pull energy, there are two different styles:
- Bridging (the "you" style). This style is about engaging the other person and works best if you truly acknowledge and value the contribution and commitment of that person.
- Attracting (the "us" style). This is about getting you and the other person to the same page. Aligned with a common purpose and working together towards it. It works best when you are meaningfully committed to the purpose and the other person plays an important role in it so that there is a joint effort.
The four different styles above, when used well and in the appropriate contexts will bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Inevitably, however, you'll be faced with situations where you or the other person are not receptive to influence, where the best course of action is to move your energy away.
Within the move away energy, there are two different styles:
- Disengaging. When you disengage well, you intentionally and temporarily remove your energy from the situation so that you and the other person have time to reflect and get back to more receptive and collaborative ground, so that you can move forward positively.
- Avoiding is when you use your move away energy unintentionally or unconsciously. By discarding the influence goal because it's painful or difficult you undermine the interaction and the relationship itself, the other person perceives it negatively.
Now the question is how do you use these styles well? And what particular behaviors make up these different styles? So stay tuned, next week we'll post about influence behaviors and how you can, in practical terms start impacting and building high-quality relationships with the people you interact with.
To move from intellectual knowledge to living, practical experience, our team and I, are delighted to invite to our Positive Power and Influence Workshop in Lisbon.
On October 21 and 30, I'll be leading a group of people so that they, not only understand but are able to diagnose the situation and implement the influence style that enables them to establish positive relationships and accomplish their goals.
You can find more information here. Reach us with any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org or +351 215 892 109.
The future is here. We're ready. How will you get ready?