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Influencing People & Situations

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“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.”

In today’s fast moving world, the world which is full of different variety of people and with them are associated various situations. Sometimes in our day to day life people are required to get influenced. The question that surrounds our mind is but why, what is the need and answer to that is when we are persuading someone for something we are creating a positive working relationship or winning respect from colleagues and customers. Sometimes the most influential person in an organisation isn’t the one at the top – it’s the one who knows how to influence the one at the top.

     Dictionary describes influencing as when we change someone’s views, attitudes, decisions, perceptions or beliefs to produce an effect on them – in a positive way. It involves adapting your words and behaviour subtly through an awareness of the effect you are having on someone else. So it is about reading and understanding yourself and other people. Through these skills you can move things forward and gain agreement or change someone’s mind and, importantly, you can achieve this without pushing, forcing or telling them what to do. It involves relationships with staff, colleagues, your manager and your customers, and is an indispensable tool for the information professional. In short, it is applied common sense blended with high-level communication skills and a subtle game plan. On the occasion of youth skill day, TKWs IBF organised two days workshop on 15th & 16th July, 2015 on “How to influence people & situations”. The workshop was conducted by Mr. Anshuman Gupta, a corporate trainer with over an experience. Mr. Anshuman explained how people get influenced with various situations.

    To influence any person the ingredients that are required are effective skills, which influence effectiveness partly a function of the skill with which the influencer uses an influence technique. Like a skilled craftsman, it takes time and practice to perfect those skills. Knowledge is also a vital part to influence people; it is nothing but facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Gestures and actions also play a vital role in influencing people. Similarly, we can also name some more ingredients which are considered effective in influencing people and situation such as experience, attitude, presence of mind and more. Although all of the above mentioned terms which are considered important for influencing is not complete without the word “POWER” it is considered most important for influencing. Power is required for influencing people and situations. Power can be of two types:        1.) Personal power        2.) Positional power

All successful people with personal power are persuasion experts. They give a lot of thought to how they can get other people to help them. They plan and strategize before they act. They define their goals clearly and then they choose the people whose cooperation they will need to achieve the goals. They then think about what they will have to do in return to get the others to help them. They achieve their goals of persuasion and influence indirectly. Some qualities of people with personal powers are it is your own power which comes from within, it gets incepted in our brain and heart through our actions and therefore this power lasts long.

 The second type of power that we talked is positional power, this power comes through position of a person with respect to other person, this can be owner-servant relation, family relation or in an organisation or anywhere else. The stricking attribute of this power is that it diminishes if used a lot and it’s under use also has a negative effect, so its effective use is the key to success for this type of power. The balanced use of positional power directs other person to do thing or any act according to his desire or wishes. This power differentiates from personal power as it is external and is not permanent.

    If we try to evolve a concept and find out what affects the thinking of people generally we come across people who are ready to take charge and are not afraid to take risks and other type who are just opposite to mentioned above.

Above diagram shows how thinking is affected in our mind. People having smaller circle of influence (COI) as compared to circle of concern (COC) such people tend to be less risky and they are always concerned about what negative effect will they have if they take certain decision and due to this fear they tend to develop negative taught in their mind and opposes themselves in taking bold or important decisions. On the other hand second figure tries to tell people with larger COI as compared to COC are more risk taking and are positive in their efforts and thinking. Some of the positive effects of persons who focus on COI.

People with larger COI always thinks and focus “what can I do” in any odd circumstances or situations, such people always think they have in them to do anything and always take pride of what they have and do not concentrate on what they don’t have. They have the power to accept challenges, take ownership, blames and responsibility. They possess skill of a leader who always willing to help and support people.

    Eventually after lot of discussion what turns out to be important is our actions, what actions we take in order to be successful in influencing people. Our actions can be determined only by what result we want, if we know what we want the action can be followed according to it.  Building an emotional content with people also helps in influencing others as they believe and trust you. Always maintain a high value of emotional content. If you show discourtesy, disrespect, betraying others trust then our emotional content tends to become lower and it becomes hard to influence people. In a nutshell,

Influence is the outcome of people doing something they would not otherwise do. 

Power is something about you which motivates people to be influenced by you.

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