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Are you influential? Top 5 Tips

I’m really digging the work Tech Replic is putting out these days.  The inspiration behind this post comes from this article.  Tech Republic just launched SmartPlanet and I am intrigued to learn more.

I have been reading books about leadership.  Hardball for Women by Pat Heim is one that is opening my eyes to the difference between men and women.  When I landing on this article by Vince Thompson, it reminded me of all the great tips I have read.  Here is my top 5 to being more influential in business (and in life).

Being pushy or never giving in to others ideas will not bode well in getting buy in for your ideas.

1. Listen – First and foremost, you must listen to the needs of the person you are trying to influence.  Then approach your idea by solving their pain.  The more direct quotes you can use the better.

2. Understand the differences between men and women – Women play as a team and want everyone to win where as men only see one winner.  Power will not normally be what women are going after where as men need to be on top.  Let the man feel that it is was his idea.

3. Golden rule – do onto others as you want them to do onto you.  You have to treat others with respect if you want it back.  Be understanding of their time so get to the point when getting buy in for your idea.

4. Likeablity – How others see you is extremely important.  If they have a vibe that you are not trustworthy or they cannot relate to you, it is unlikely that they will be influenced by your ideas.  Always smile as it can make others feel much more comfortable.  It is also important to listen to others – don’t be so self absorbed and only hear what comes out of your mouth.  If someone talks too much, I tune out quickly.

5. Value – It is always a good idea to “do the math” and get agreement that the numbers are right.  Prove the value and gain concentsus.  If you get concentsus publicly, they have another reason to committ so take advantage of group meetings.

So these are my top 5 but I thought you might want to see the meat of the article that inspired this discussion from Tech Republic – article.

Without conducting our own studies, are there guideposts we can rely on in coming up with an approach?

There are six universal principles of influence. If we use them as touchstones, they will allow us to be significantly more successful in our influence attempts. They are:

• Reciprocation. People give back to you the kind of treatment that they’ve received from you. If you do something first by giving something of value—be it more information or a positive attitude—it will all come back to you.

• Scarcity. People will try to seize those opportunities that you offer them that are rare or dwindling in availability. This is an important reminder that we need to differentiate what we have to offer that is different from our rivals and competitors. That way, we can tell people honestly “You can only get this aspect or this feature by moving in our direction.”

• Authority. People will be most persuaded by you when they see you as having knowledge and credibility on the topic. You’d be surprised how many fail to properly inform their audience of their genuine credentials before launching into an influence attempt. That’s a big mistake.

• Commitment. People will feel a need to comply with your request if they see that it’s consistent with what they’ve publicly committed themselves to in your presence. The implication there is to ask people to state their true priorities, commitments and features of the situation that they think are most important. Then align your requests or proposals with those things. The rule for consistency will cause them to want to say yes to what they’ve already told you they value.

• Liking. People prefer to say yes to your request to the degree that they know and like you. No surprise there but a simple way to make that happen is to uncover genuine similarities or parallels that exist between you and the person you want to influence. That person is going to like you more and be more willing to move in your direction.

• Consensus. People will be likely to say yes to your request if you give them evidence that people just like them have been saying yes to it too. I saw recent study that showed if a restaurant owner puts on the menu “This is our most popular item” than it immediately becomes more popular.

How can I get readers more engaged in this blog? (Great Q for me…hopefully helpful to those of you building brands with social media!)

We’re existing under a time of economic uncertainty right now and there is some research that shows that when people are uncertain they don’t look inside themselves for an answer—they look outside. They look to two main places. The first involves asking “what are people just like me doing here?”. So, one of the things you can do (and listeners/readers can do as well) is gather information about what is the trend and what is the upward swing in the number of individuals who are moving in your direction. If people see that a lot of others are doing this—especially people like them—then it seems like it’s the right thing for them to do too.

Besides peers, when uncertain, people look to the experts on the matter. Be sure to convey that your blog will offer expert information regarding the matters that you are dealing with. The best way to do that is to interview someone who is an expert as a guest and describe that person’s credentials. Well, people will then be more likely to pay attention. And finally, you can post a top five list of the things people could do to achieve a goal. People are very impressed by an authority who has the knowledge to know what those top five things are, and they pay special attention to those kinds of lists.

To learn more about Dr. Cialdini and his work, Click Here:

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2008 IT Trends

I am subscribed to the Tech Sanity Check discussion group and I really find the information useful.  Today’s article was about the five most important trends of 2008.  I agree with the 5 Jason Hiner posted.  There may be some argument about the order but all 5 are game changing for IT service providers.

5.  The rise of ultra-cheap PCs – you can now get a decent laptop for $500 and virtualization is making thin clients more popular which go for under $200.

4. Green IT meets energy savings – it is no longer just a California issue; mainstream is now conscious of saving power.  It doesn’t come to the top of the list in the SMB space but if you can tout your product as being “green”, it does make a slight difference.

3.  Offshoring, H1Bs, and the IT labor deficit – with the economic slow down, it is ever more important to hire locally.  There has been a shortage of skilled technicians which has caused headaches in our organization.

2.  Virtualization and utility computing – the flexibility is making this solution mainstream.  Small businesses will move away from server rooms and to a pay as grow hosted model.  The move to utility computing is a trend that has become popular in 2008 and I feel we will start seeing it in action in late 2009.

1.  IT’s opportunity in the economic tsunami – today’s IT departments tend to be leaner and more ROI focused than in the early 2000s.  The current global recession is forcing small businesses to look toward technology to streamline tasks and to outsource their technology needs.

I highly recommend that you read this posting from tech republic.

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=891&tag=nl.e101