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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

I—Influencing People

You make more friends by becoming interested in other people than by trying to interest other people in yourself.
DALE CARNEGIE

Each of us is dependent on others in our organization. Influencing people to gain commitment for new ideas is crucial. Here are some ideas to improve your effectiveness:

  1. Acknowledge that you are dependent on others. Develop a collaborative attitude.

  2. Treat people with respect, consideration, and dignity. They will do the same with you.

  3. Deal with differences with your peers directly. Avoid appealing to those above you to exert authority over your peers. You need to be able to influence them by yourself.

  4. Help people out whenever possible. Do them favours. You will then be able to legitimately ask them to return favours when you need them.

  5. Wait for important opportunities to collect IOUs from people, especially if they have

    • unique skills;

    • specialized knowledge;

    • "exotic" information.

    Your dependency on them becomes balanced by their dependency on you.

  6. Treat people as equals. Don't abuse the power that comes from a higher position in the organization. People will retaliate later. Also, pulling rank will prevent the development of the trust and respect needed for genuine co-operation.

  7. Keep communications upbeat and positive. Focus on the good rather than the bad.

  8. Treat individuals as special and unique. Focus on the things that motivate them.

  9. Find out what people's hot buttons are. Let them know how you can help them get what they want. Paint a picture of your needs that is compatible with theirs.

  10. Use your power to influence them.

    • The power of legitimacy is established when you present information that looks good by finding substantial evidence from credible sources that backs up your point of view.

    • The power of precedent is used when you can demonstrate that your idea has worked before in similar circumstances. A successful pilot program is an excellent precedent.

    • The power of competition comes into play if you can show how your idea can improve the organization before others do. Also, if you show that you have others interested in your idea, you will motivate more interest than if you don't.

    • The power of rationality suggests that facts and data will be more persuasive than opinions.

    • The power of knowledge works for you when you can demonstrate that you are the expert in the field.

    • The power of numbers suggests that if there are many people who feel the same way as you, and you can prove it, your chances of influencing others will be improved considerably.

    • The power of rank indicates that you have support from people high up in the organization.


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