By Patricia Morgan
Have you ever wondered how to respectfully influence other people’s thinking, beliefs or behavioiurs? In Words that Change Minds: Mastering the Language of Influence, author Shelle Rose Charvet describes how different people are motivated by a variety of factors. While there are no good or bad patterns it is helpful to be aware of your own tendencies and the alternate hooks others may have. Those others might be your partner, children, group or clients.
Notice whether others tend to act proactively or reactively. If they have a tendency to move reactively you are wise to use short, clear language. If they are reactive consider using words like “try,” “could” and “wait.”
Discover what is important to others. Is it being acknowledged as likeable or smart; getting things accomplished or time to daydream: vacations or family time; pampering or adventure? If we offer what has no value, then we will be greeted with no or little interest.
One of the most fascinating aspects of motivation is reflected in advertisements. Advertisers typically know that people are either motivated to purchase a produce or service to attain a goal or to avoid some pain. Watch TV advertisements with this concept in mind. The next time you are creating a sentence or a flyer to persuade others, think about these two ends of the pain and pleasure spectrum. “No more back pain with our sauna, only deep relaxation and a good night’s sleep.” Some people have strong internal control while others depend on external data. For internally inclined people use words like “you’ll decide the best.” Facts, figures, statistics about what others are deciding will influence externally leaning individuals.
You may be thinking “This sounds manipulative.” It is to some degree. Most of us are often manipulating one another unconsciously. The knowledge above helps us match our message to others. When these skills are done consciously with care, the process might be called “effective listening” or “influencing” and even “inspirational.”
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