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“A no-nonsense approach to building your business through relationships.”

~ Jane Applegate, syndicated Los Angeles Times columnist

Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

Doing Persuasion Right

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Doing Persuasion Right - Bob BurgWe often see people say and do things when attempting to persuade that bring them the very opposite results they desire. They’ll argue, plead, beg or scream before finally walking away in anger and frustration.

It’s much more fun to watch someone really doing it right.

Even better, through observation we can use their example to more effectively handle our own similar potentially difficult situations.

It was about 8:00 a.m. as I brought my cup of coffee and a book into the lobby of the hotel. My program wasn’t until late afternoon and it seemed like a great opportunity to relax and do some reading. Sitting across from me, unaware of my presence, with a cell phone to her ear and jotting notes, was a woman with a pleasant smile on her face.

If I hadn’t been eavesdropping…er, uh, I mean sitting in a place where I couldn’t help but overhear her talking :-) I’d have thought by the look on her face that she was on a call with her spouse or best friend. She wasn’t. She was trying very diligently to straighten out an issue that left someone without some important documentation.

She pleasantly (that word again) hung up and went to the front desk to ask if they would send a fax for her. Granted, this was a wonderful, service-driven hotel, but even if not they wouldn’t have turned down her request.

She came back to the chair opposite me and, for the first time realizing I was there, very sweetly apologized for bothering me by “talking while I was reading.” I told her it was quite alright, absolutely no bother at all, and that I was enjoying watching her so excellently handle this obviously difficult situation. With a genuine sense of peace she explained that it would all be handled and that everyone involved was being very patient with her.

Influence and Persuasion Lesson: People tend to reflect your attitude right back to you. Or, “As water reflects a face back to a face, so one’s heart is reflected back to him/her by another.” (Mishlei/Proverbs 27:19)

The process included several more trips to the front desk and calls to various people. She apologized when she had to, encouraged when she needed to and smiled genuinely the entire time. Her mission — whatever it actually was — was accomplished.

Of course, before she left, I had to ask her the secret to her great attitude and way with people. She summed it up in two phrases: “I live in gratitude,” and “Most people are nice if you treat them as such.”

Simple, elegant, influential, and persuasive.

Want to Influence? Don’t Deny Human Nature

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Want to Influence? Don’t Deny Human Nature - Bob BurgLast post we saw that to attain a desired outcome you must first see the situation as it is, not as you wish it were.

Not to be confused with a lack of vision, it’s simply understanding that in order to manifest that vision we must acknowledge current truths.

Want to design a device that flies despite physical universal laws such as…gravity? Then, first understand and accept the laws of physics and how they operate. Only then can you work within those laws in order to create its opposite effect.

The same is true when dealing with those often-difficult beings known as…humans. :-)

In other words, the laws of human nature are just as true as the physical laws of nature.

Do you ever hear 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!”

The above are some of the effects of Human Nature. Different for different people, they deal with decision-making, emotion, ego, etc.

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:

“Ultimately, people do things for their reasons; not our reasons.”

Even if those reasons don’t make sense to us! As we’ve discussed in previous posts, 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.

When you embrace that law 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 the laws of human nature to benefit everyone involved.

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Do you live in South Florida? If so, you won’t want to miss this powerful, interactive, One-Day Ultimate Influence™ Mastery Intensive on Wednesday, October 1st. In this fun, but very intense day-long session, I’m going to work with just 50 people max so we can keep it personal and interactive.

Lead better, sell more, negotiate powerfully, have stronger relationships with friends, family members, coworkers and associates. Create the environment where people are much more likely to buy into you and your ideas.  If this sounds like something that could make a powerful difference in your life, visit www.Ultimate-Influence.com.

If you have additional questions, we have arranged a brief Q & A call for Thursday, September 18th. You can register for it here: http://bit.ly/1y7UgYv

First, See It The Way It Is. Only Then…

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

First See It The Way It Is - Bob BurgThere are certain natural laws of life. They are not necessarily good or bad. They just are. They are immutable; 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 oft-used example of gravity. At least, oft-used by me. :-)

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 much positive thinking you apply (“I can fly…I can fly…I can fly!”), or even how unfair you think it is that gravity works the way it does.

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.

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. And, only after we first acknowledge them can we work within them. This, in order to effectively influence others in a way that results in a win for everyone involved.

In the next post, we’ll look at some of these immutable laws of humankind and how to create our own “airplanes” with them. :-)

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Do you live in South Florida? If so, you won’t want to miss this powerful, interactive, One-Day Ultimate Influence Mastery Intensive on Wednesday, October 1st. In this fun, but very intense day-long session, I’m going to work with just 50 people max so we can keep it personal and interactive.

Lead better, sell more, negotiate powerfully, have stronger relationships with friends, family members, coworkers and associates. Create the environment where people are much more likely to buy into you and your ideas.  If this sounds like something that could make a powerful difference in your life, visit www.Ultimate-Influence.com.

Just How Powerful an Influencer Are You?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Bob Burg Ultimate Influence AssessmentI define Influence as the ability to move a person(s) to a desired action, usually within the context of a specific goal. Ultimate Influence™ is the ability to get the results you want when dealing with others while 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.

Would you like to know where you currently stand in this regard?

I just created a self-assessment tool, the Ultimate Influence™ Assessment, that you are invited to take. (And, it’s free!)

It includes 14 value-based questions designed to provide you with both influence and persuasion knowledge as well as an excellent idea of your areas of strength and those areas in which you can improve.

Visit http://bit.ly/1pDtj9f.

Have fun!

And, if you’d like, let us know of any thoughts or feedback you have.

Of course, if you find this to be of value, I’d love for you to pass it along to others.

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The Ultimate Influence™ Assessment is based on the Five Key Principles of Ultimate Influence from my book Adversaries into Allies.

Don’t Let Yourself Be “Chris Matthews-ed”

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Chris MatthewsA large part of influence is believability. Believability inspires trust. If you are believable once, you’ll get a shot at being believable again. If you are not believable just once, however (especially if it’s someone’s first exposure to you), the chances are excellent that you will not be considered such from that point on.

I recently witnessed a person make a somewhat dogmatic statement during a discussion. When asked to cite his source he began to hem and haw. When further pressed he grumbled something or other and got mad at the person who questioned him. Whether his statement was right or wrong, his lack of even basic source knowledge made him…unbelievable. In this case, “UN-believable” was not a good thing. :-)

The incident immediately brought to mind an interview conducted in May, 2008 by MSNBC TV Hardball host, Chris Matthews. In this segment, one of his guests was Los Angeles-based Radio Talk Show Host, Kevin James. As James began to bring up British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain’s well-known appeasement of Hitler during the lead-up to World War II, Matthews asked him to explain what he meant. In other words, how exactly did Chamberlain appease Hitler?

Beginning at 4:10 of the video and all the way through the 7:05 mark, James danced around the issue. Matthews, of course, refused to let him off the hook. Finally, it was determined that James wasn’t able to cite anything specific, most notably the infamous Munich Agreement.

Now, does that mean that Mr. James was wrong? Not at all. Chamberlain certainly did appease Hitler. And, if you listen to that part of the interview, James wasn’t incorrect in anything he said.

However, the fact that he couldn’t cite an example of this appeasement — one of the most famous in history — simply took away any type of credibility he might have had with Mr. Matthews’ audience.

Personally, being a Libertarian and believing in both free minds and free markets, I certainly don’t agree with most of the political ideas Mr. Matthews advocates. Nor do I enjoy his communication style. He’s an interrupter who at times can even be insulting.  But, you know what else Mr. Matthews is? He’s very intelligent; he’s very sharp. And, he’s not about to let someone get away with “not backing up their statements.”

I learned a hugely important lesson from that interview: to never place myself in a position where I can be “Chris Matthews-ed.”

In other words, if we’re going to make a statement of fact or attempt to persuasively advance our idea, we need to not only know what we’re talking about, we need to be able to communicate that we know what we’re talking about. Especially, if pressed to do so.

Of course, I believe we should do this with tact, kindness and respect for the other person, even if we do not agree. Part of being able to do that effectively is knowing — really knowing — from whence we speak.

Your thoughts?

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Very soon we’ll be re-opening our Certified Go-Giver Speaker Program to 12 more speakers. We limit it to 12 so that each new Speaker can receive the attention and teaching they need and deserve and be ready to hit the ground running in their business. Want to be alerted when we re-open? Visit www.GoGiverSpeaker.com.