How to influence others

Have you ever influenced someone to change the way they thought about something or adjust a behavior? Many people feel they have the power to influence others. But a lot of them, including myself, are not as successful as they would like to think.

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change is a book that shares a unique, evidence-based way on how you can convince an individual, or even an organization, to make changes that improve their way of life or bottom line.

This book has two parts. The first presents research behind the science of leading change through stories of ordinary people who have not only made significant changes to their world, but have been able to sustain it.

The second part describes a framework called the Six Sources of Influence. It describes how these sources, if properly supporting an individual or organization, can positively impact the desired change.

Some of the ideas in Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change are similar to other leadership studies that recommend having clear objectives, measuring progress, allowing choice or empowering others, creating experiences to practice the behaviors, telling stories to clarify your thoughts and gamifying the activities to increase motivation. All of which are highly studied, evidence-based ideas proven to be effective.

However, a concept that differentiates itself from the other leadership books is the earlier-mentioned Six Sources of Influence framework. It describes ways to influence or change key behaviors in ourselves and others, and this is my biggest takeaway from the book. This concept is best understood by the flowchart below:

Six Sources of Influence framework

The framework shows that you must have personal, social and structural motivation — along with support and the ability or skills to do what is necessary to change that behavior.

Look at the graph below to see how it could be used to change a behavior many people attempt during the new year:

Six Sources of Influence framework

So, next time you try to lose a little weight or change a behavior, you may want to read this book first and try this method.

Hopefully, I have influenced you to read this book because as Kerry Patterson, one of the authors, states in the book, “At the end of the day, what qualifies people to be called leaders is their capacity to influence others to change their behavior in order to achieve important results.”

And don’t we all want to lead change to make the world a little bit better?




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