Today’s episode will only have the Thought of the Day segment, where we’ll look at the importance of grounding your influence and success inside…reality. Next week we’ll be back with our usual interview segment.
Bob’s Thought of the Day
- In the past we’ve defined influence as the ability to move a person (or person’s) toward a desired action, usually within the context of a specific goal. While that might be the definition, it’s not necessarily the essence of influence, which is pull. It’s pull as opposed to push, commitment as opposed to compliance, persuasion as opposed to manipulation.
- Ultimate Influence™ is the ability to get the results you want when dealing with others while also helping them feel genuinely good … about themselves, about the situation, and about you. The person who does this consistently can be a great corporate or team leader, a top-producing sales professional, and an overall success in life.
- We can influence people as well as influence the physical world around us. But before we can expect someone or something to change, we must first see it as it currently is. That might seem counterintuitive because in so much personal development literature and teaching, we are taught to see things not as they are … but as they could be.
- In other words, do you want to inspire a team member to improve themselves? Your child to be more responsible? The customer service representative to allow you to return the item even without the receipt? Don’t see the people or situation as it is, but how it CAN be. Well, yes … but not so fast! 🙂
- In studying success for many years, it’s always hit me that sustainably successful people are very connected to “reality.” That doesn’t mean they don’t look for ways to improve on the current reality; of course they do. But there’s a connection to that reality. This holds true for the greatest influencers. If you want someone or something to change a position, opinion, or form … you must first see it as it is. Only then can you understand exactly who or what you’re dealing with.
- There are certain natural laws of life. They are not necessarily good or bad. They just are. They are immutable and unchangeable. With those laws, you have two choices: acknowledge them, or deny/ignore them. What you cannot do is change them. They are what they are.
- Let’s take the example of gravity. Gravity works everywhere on earth. No exceptions; no excuses. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is. I guess it can be considered good in that it keeps us from floating helplessly into space. It could be considered bad when falling off a seven-story building.
- The Law of Gravity cannot be changed. And, you know what? It doesn’t matter how much you’d like it to not be true, how unfair you think it is that gravity works the way it does, or even how hard you imagine it as it could be … it is exactly what it is and works exactly as it has always worked.
- Think about this. Human beings cannot fly! Or … can we? Actually, we can. Most of us have done so. We’ve traveled great distances at high speeds in a tubular-shaped hunk of metal called an airplane. Lately, we can even check our email and post and converse on Facebook and Twitter while doing so. However, for the airplane to have been created, its developers first had to understand and acknowledge the Universal Law of Gravity and how it works. Only by tapping into the truth of gravity (and aerodynamics) could they work within its principles and actually use them to create the opposite effect, resulting in flight.
- You must first accept how something IS. Then rather than trying to change it, look for ways to work with it in order to obtain the results you want.
- It’s exactly the same with people. There are certain universal laws of human nature that, while not necessarily convenient, simply are. We can only work within them after we first acknowledge them. That is the only way to effectively influence others in a way that results in a win for everyone involved. In other words, the laws of human nature are just as true as the physical laws of nature.
- Do you ever find yourself thinking: “He doesn’t care about the facts” … “She’s only looks at the price, not the quality” … “His ego is so big” … “She argues even when she knows she’s wrong.” Or even, “All he cares about is himself!” These are some of the effects of Human Nature. Different for different people, they deal with decision-making, emotion, ego, etc. Human nature itself can be defined as the instinctive behavior that governs action concerned with the self and with self-interest.
- There are also some immutable Laws of Human Nature that apply to everyone. What I believe is the biggie of them all was eloquently summed up by Dale Carnegie in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, where he wrote: “Ultimately, people do things for their reasons; not our reasons.” Even if those reasons don’t make sense to us!
- As the great Harry Browne taught, “People will do what they believe will make them happy, as they understand happiness and within the available options they believe they have.” And that is the overriding Law of Human Nature that only after one understands and accepts can they ever be an effective influencer.
- This is why the greatest influencers continually ask themselves questions such as: “How does what I’m asking this person to do align with THEIR goals, THEIR wants, THEIR needs, THEIR desires, and THEIR values?” When we ask these questions thoughtfully, intelligently, genuinely, and authentically–not as a way to manipulate other people to do our will but as a way of building and benefiting everyone in the process–now we’re on the right track toward powerful influence.
- When you embrace human nature and work within it in such a way that you help the other person achieve their reason, you’ll find yourself to be one of the most powerful and influential people you know. Great influencers don’t waste their time wishing people were different or that human nature wasn’t what it is, but rather work within reality–in this case, the laws of human nature–to benefit everyone involved.
- As professional educator Mark Crotty, Head of St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas, tells his students, “If you’re going to improve the world, you’d first better understand it.” Ahhhhh, yes, indeed! Well said, Mr. Crotty.