Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Excerpt From The 3E Book

Through the years a lot of attempts have been made to define influence. The following is a one page excerpt from my 3E book. I believe at least the beginning of an appropriate definition of "influence" is found in this text. However, considering that the book is about 300 pages on the subject, there obviously is a lot more to it than only this.

Influence Defined
Up to this day, in general, we've been taught through decades of literature and training that influence is about "sending out energy". The focus has always been on "making someone do something either willfully, by manipulation, or even stronger, by coercion." What I'm suggesting with this, is two-fold:

  1. The existing paradigm of WHAT influence is is very poor. But, more importantly...
  2. influence can neither have manipulation nor coercion in it for it to be real. If it has, it's not influence.

Right now, let's especially focus on the latter of these two; "the absence of manipulation or forced behavior". Remember what Dale Carnegie said in his all time classic book "How To Win Friends and Influence People":

"A person persuaded against his will is of the same opinion still."

Meaning, influence needs to be voluntary for it to have a lasting real effect. Ultimately it's about free will. Influence is about a willed action that stems from you, somehow reaching that other person. Or to add to the definition I provided previously:

Influence is only influence when the idea or conviction you once had is now materializing as conviction in another person, turning into action because of something you did.

You see, for it to be "influence" it must come from you. If it comes from something or somewhere else it is not influence by definition. But who's to say that we can't apply other sources - tools that are readily available all around us - to make sure someone reaches a certain conclusion and acts accordingly?

This action, too, is the second prerequisite of influence indeed being influence. Unless the other person brings the newly conceived conviction into actual operation it means you never influenced them for real. It doesn't need to be instantaneous, but at least some time in the future it must be applied in real life action. This is WHY so many sales trainers fail. They may inspire Passion in the moment, even Connection and Intuition, but unless participants apply what is being taught no real influence ever took place.

If you're not big into reading books, it's also possible to order the audio version of the 3E book.

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