How to influence people in twelve words or less.
Do you want to influence people? Do you want to have a profound impact on people’s lives? Read on. This is the most efficient tool I’ve come across in over 20 years in the game.
And I mean it when I say efficient. Nothing gives you more bang for your buck.
I’m talking about ‘positivity’.
But not blunt, soppy positivity. Genuine positivity, delivered at just the right time.
This is something we’re not all that strong on here in Australia. We’ve got a bit of the tall-poppy syndrome, and we think we’re doing people a favour if we pop their balloons and ‘help them keep their feet on the ground.’
Seriously, don’t be popping my balloons and don’t be trying to keep my feet on the ground if this old duck is bearing down the runway ready to fly.
It really is that simple.
We live in a world where doubt grows like mould on the underside of a wet mattress. It’s everywhere. And whatever path you’re on, you’ll be constantly dealing with doubt.
(The price of self-awareness is doubt. No escaping it.)
And so we’re constantly trying to read the world – to see if we’re on the right path.
When someone gives you that affirmation, it can be incredibly powerful. It can be just the push you need to leave your doubts behind and fully commit to your path.
(But no, we’re focused on keeping people’s feet on the ground.)
I’ve found in the mentoring game that you can feel these pivotal moments when they come. You can feel when people have made a strong start, but are really questioning themselves.
This is the perfect moment for positivity to strike.
That’s not to say positivity isn’t helpful the rest of the time. Have you spent time in California? Those guys are relentlessly positive.
“Hey, really love the way you’re stirring your coffee there. I just wanted to let you know that.”
But then, why not? Why not take a scattergun approach? You’ll turn up gold eventually… as long as people don’t stop listening to you or believing you.
But it does mean that in Australia, where all the negative Nancy’s have the run of things, the perfectly timed piece of positivity can have all that much more of an impact.
And it really needs to be nothing more than a word or two.
“Hey, I really like that song you sang. You have a lovely voice.”
“Hey, I loved what you did with the kitchen in that duplex. You’ve got a great eye.”
“Hey, that deal was tough. A lot of people wouldn’t have made it through. Way to dig deep and get it across the line.”
Delivered at the right time, a few simple words can carry people along for months, if not years.
Can you think of an easier gift to give someone? Just a few carefully chosen words – nothing but words – and you can give someone a huge lift.
You can literally change a life.
So how do you know what the right time is?
I find it’s when those doubts and insecurities are in full view. When someone is feeling vulnerable and they are held in the grip of their doubts.
You can feel it. Maybe they’ve just tested themselves and they want to know that they’ve done ok. They’re standing at a crossroad. That’s the perfect time.
And is there another secret?
Yes. You have to be genuine. You have to actually recognise and celebrate what they’ve done within yourself before you can give them that reflection.
That means seeing the world and people through the eyes of celebration – not the eyes of judgement and taking people down a peg or two. It’s almost a way of life. That can take a bit of relearning – a bit of cultural reconditioning.
But if you want to be an influencer – if you want to have a profound impact on people’s lives – put positivity in your toolkit. Make it part of who you are.
Genuine positivity, delivered at the right time, is the most powerful tool I know.