How to Influence People With Your Thinking


Is it beneficial or evil to seek to persuade and influence others to your point of view? Or maybe a touch of both? Does this question make you nervous and make you wonder about your latent Machiavellian tendencies? The famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” explains how to Influence People With Your Thinking.

How Do You Start

The first step is to understand that persuasion or influence is not manipulation, because manipulation is compulsion used to force someone to do something that is not in their best interests. Influence or persuasion, on the other hand, is the art of influencing or persuading individuals to do things that are in their best interests and will benefit you.

Ways You Can Influence People

You can be persuasive in a variety of indirect and subtle ways that capitalize on our inherent human impulses without ever making people feel sleazy or leaving you feeling manipulative.

-Trust your abilities:
You should know your stuff and what you’re talking about; you’ve spent years honing your craft, so show your abilities and knowledge proudly. There is no more appealing characteristic than righteous confidence. We want to believe in individuals who believe in their own abilities, and it is this confidence that allows them to persuade others. When you truly believe in your product, service, skill, insight, or idea, you will be able to persuade and assist others in understanding how your offering may add value to their lives.

-Flexibility is Crucial:
Individual flexibility provides you the most control, instead of power. The greater your breadth of influencing behaviors, the greater your persuasion power. How so? Consider how children behave when they want something - they go through a menu of actions and appeals to get what they want (bargaining, cajoling, charm, crying, begging, pouting, sniveling), while their poor beleaguered parents are stuck with the solitary response of "No."

-Have Control over your Feelings and Emotions:
No one wants to buy from an emotional disaster because we can't see your confidence in your abilities because of your emotional drama. Practice emotional self-control throughout your working life, not just when you want to convince or influence someone, because those who know you will notice your inconsistency and question your objectives.

-Do your Research:
Persuasion should be preceded with good research and preparation. Having done your research gives you good situational awareness which boosts your confidence and ability to deliver it correctly, so you'll want to learn more about the people and situations you wish to impact. Consider the preparation you will put in while requesting a raise or a promotion!

-Simplicity is Key:
If you can’t express or explain something easily, it means that you need more preparation and research time because you do not understand it thoroughly, which will make you unable to persuade anyone with your ideas-  since persuasion begins with simplification and ends with communication to others.

-Make it Urgent:
Remember the commercial catchphrase "one day only"? To compel people to act quickly, you must create a sense of urgency. Why? Well, if we are not compelled to act immediately, we will be distracted and dissuaded, and we will be less likely to commit to the notion in the future. Persuasion takes place in the present tense, and creating a sense of urgency sets the tone.


This article is part of our Business Coaching blog series. At Dataczar we talk to a lot of small businesses. We’ve found a few books that we keep recommending time and again. To better help our customers, we’ve added a Reading List for Small Businesses to our website. We encourage every small business owner to read and keep these timeless business books on their office shelf.