Influencing Others


PART OF YOUR MISSION is influencing people. You can help people learn to cure their feelings of demoralization and reduce their anxiety. You can help them learn to become active rather than passive in the war on terror. Influence by people like you is what is needed and wanted.

But influencing people requires skill. Persuasion is difficult sometimes, even when your intentions are good. People are prone to feeling defensive if they feel you disapprove of them, or if you try to persuade too heavy-handedly.

So below we have a list of links that take you to material you can study and practice to improve your ability to influence people. This is an important mission. World events, as shocking as it seems, revolve around very human feelings such as being offended, losing face, and personal pride. The skills of diplomacy and persuasion are some of the most important abilities you can develop in the war on terror. Skillfulness with people can make you extraordinarily influential.

The best resource for persuasion is How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is available at any bookstore. It has been around for 70 years, and it's still on the shelves. And for good reason. The principles can be found online too.

When you practice the principles, don't try to do them all at once. Work on one skill at a time. Take one principle (for example, Give honest and sincere appreciation) and concentrate on that one for a couple days. Master it. Then take another principle and do the same.

Persuasion 101

Always curb your desire to overstate your case. If you err, err toward understatement. As anti-intuitive as it seems, you are more persuasive when you are calm and conservative in your statements than you are when you get emotional or exaggerate. Les Giblins wrote:

"In one experiment, the researchers put together three 15-minute talks on dental hygiene. For one group of students, the researchers emphasized the threat of not following the guidelines: cancer, tooth decay, gum diseases, etc.

"The second group received a milder form of the same thing — facts mixed with what might happen if care was not taken with their teeth.

"The third group just heard information without any scare tactics.

"One week later, in a follow-up test, the researchers discovered that the more scare tactics were used, the less the students changed their behavior."

And here is a hot tip from Benjamin Franklin, a man with a proven record of persuasiveness:

The way to convince another is to state your case moderately and accurately. Then say that of course you may be mistaken about it; which causes your listener to receive what you have to say, and, like as not, turn about and convince you of it, since you are in doubt. But if you go at him in a tone of positiveness and arrogance you only make an opponent out of him.

Learn more about influencing your friends:



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