The 4 Stages of Influence

Influencing others is a humble and respectful enterprise.

Influence is an easy to understand but hard to implement strategy in interpersonal relationships.  The opposite is ‘resistance’, and a close cousin is ‘change’.  The confusing thing is that the meaning of influence sometimes gets mixed up with ‘manipulation’, a less than desirable behavior.

Influence is generally regarded as the ability to change something or someone because you’ve built the trust needed to make it happen.  Influence just ‘doesn’t’ happen, so how does it occur?

The 4 Stages of Influence 

Those that influence the best are those that have the most humility.  

  1. Letting yourself be influenced by others.  When you open yourself to learning, listening and replying, you have begun the process of influencing another.  Going where someone is communicates their importance to you.
  2. Engaging in trusting actions.  It’s hard to influence others without being trustworthy yourself.  This step takes patience and time.  If you’re rushing this, then you’re likely engaging in subtle manipulation.
  3. Having a valued skill or behavior. A component to influencing another, is having knowledge, skill, or behavior that others legitimately value in some way.  Using this in ways that help others is often the glue that builds your ability to build influence and build confidence in your actions.
  4. Showing humility.  Those that influence the best are those that have the most humility.  A person that makes a lot of noise around themselves, creates a shallow outcome of manipulation.  Influencing others is a humble and respectful enterprise.  One meant to build others up, rather than build one’s ego.
  • Which steps may you be using? Which ones are absent as you work with others?

The Process of Regaining Confidence

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Regaining confidence is not an external event.  Those that are waiting for something to happen to feel better, may end up disappointed…

If you feel a lack of confidence, it’s best to start out with yourself first.  That’s where the problem really resides.  Things happen, you make mistakes, and you may lack the right skills.  

Finding the Path to Confidence

  1. Be Real: Face your weakness – it’s what you need to do differently, not what needs to change.
  2. Work through people: Find those that believe in you.  
  3. Deliver value, build confidence in others, receive credibility.

It’s not what happens, but what you decide to make happen.  Acknowledge your weaknesses, and build a plan to mitigate them.  If you take the ‘minimal’ path, you will remain at an unsatisfying level.  The motivation you generate will repay you in ‘confidence’.  Others will gradually engage and reinforce what you have become.