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Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

miWisdom today… When people go through periods of great difficulty in their lives, we naturally have a tendency to try and assist them through their problems by providing them with techniques and strategies that we believe will help them overcome their challenges. Is this really the right and just way to go about assisting a person in need?

First of all, what may appear to be the right way around a problem to us may not in fact be the most ideal solution for the other person. Yes, we may well have gone through a similar experience, or we may have heard or read about others overcoming this sort of challenge in their life. Yet, can we rightly justify the act of providing helpful advice without first truly understanding the other person and their experience from absolutely every angle imaginable? Because this is exactly what it will take to provide this person with the right and suitable answers they are after.

When we freely help others, do we even consider the repercussions of our good nature? Is what we are doing for them helping them in the long-term? Is this empowering the other person to overcome other similar challenges in their life without your ongoing support or influence? Or is your act of helping them through this problem actually making them dependent on you now and in the future? There is an old saying which identifies this principle clearly:

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”

There is also another saying which states:

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you can sell him fishing equipment.” – However, let’s leave that for another time 🙂

When people are in great difficulty they only seek one single “thing” to begin with. This one “thing” is so powerful that it may well be the trigger that will empower them to take the necessary steps and actions to overcome their challenge single-handedly. So what is this one “thing” they seek? It is assurance from someone who can show that they understand their problems and challenges. They are looking to connect with a person who will be there for them as a satellite bouncing ideas back and forth.

Once this person feels comfortable that someone understands them; that they have the support of someone who is supportive of their plight – now you can move onto the next step, which is all about empowering the person from within. To do this, one must learn to lead a conversation by asking the right questions that will allow the other person to think independently and reflect upon their life and circumstances.

Giving advice is much like the act of giving a man a fish. You will feed the person with a solution for today, but what will they have left for tomorrow and the uncertain future that awaits them. However, by asking insightful questions that encourages the other person to think in unique and creative ways, is very much like teaching them to fish.

By guiding the other person to seek their own answers within, is one of the greatest gifts one is able to give to a child, a family member, stranger or friend; because it is one of those gifts that just keeps on giving whether you are in this person’s life or not.

Next time someone is in difficulty, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following set of questions:

  • How can I provide this person with reassurance that I am there for them in their time of need?
  • How can I show them that I understand them and their situation wholeheartedly?
  • What insightful questions can I ask that will encourage them to think in a unique and creative way about their problems and predicament?
  • What sorts of questions could I ask that may well empower this person to take immediate and positive action today?
  • How else can I show them that I am supportive of their difficulties, problems or challenges without giving advice?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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miWidsom today… In times of crisis or when absorbing high doses of stress, you must at the very least appear to be under emotional control, otherwise other people will tend to lose confidence and faith in your abilities. This is especially important if other people are looking up to you or you are seeking to influence others through your behaviors, decisions or actions.

At times of great stress or hardship it is very easy for the human mind to fall prey to negative emotions that can sap one’s energy and make one lose focus of one’s main goals and objectives. During these times people tend to make the worst out of every situation. They tend to filter all events in a very dark and gloomy manner. Hope appears to be lost, they have no idea what to do next, and the resulting effect is that they lose control over their emotions.

Our emotions are like a balance bar of control, they keep us steady and centered even during times of crisis; as long as we are proactively guiding our emotions in a manner that keeps us on target towards our goals and objectives. However, if we suddenly begin to react emotionally to other people, events or circumstances, that is when the balance between our emotions and the control bar is broken. Because we are emotional creatures, we are simply unable to maintain control over something external if internally we are unbalanced and falling apart.

The key towards gaining back emotional control begins on the outside. One must first appear to others as though one is in full emotional control over oneself. This will give other people confidence in your ability to get the job done. This is especially important when you are in a leadership or management position within a company, organization, club or family. The appearance of control is the critical first step towards regaining your balance. When others see that you are not phased by your predicament, they will likewise maintain their poise and will better be able to assist you in this time of need.

Once you have established external emotional balance, you can now move onto the next step which is centering yourself internally. To do this one must learn to better understand oneself as well as the events surrounding one’s situation. The following set of questions may assist you to regain back the balance in your life while focusing you back on your most important goals and objectives:

  • Why am I feeling overwhelmed and stressed at this very moment? – You are defining the problem.
  • What external factors, people or events do I believe are causing this? – You are defining the cause.
  • How specifically is all of this making me feel? – You are defining your emotional state.
  • How do I normally react emotionally to these types of people, events or circumstances? – You are defining your habits.
  • Given my outcomes and goals, what emotions would be most suitable and appropriate to utilize in this situation?
  • How will I gain from experiencing and using these positive emotions?
  • How do I now choose to act proactively in response to these people, events or circumstances?
  • What strategies can I consistently use to ensure that I stay in this emotional proactive state?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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miWisdom today… Getting angry or upset at others doesn’t normally work to one’s favour, as it creates resistance and throws the other person against you. Not only does the other person now see you as the enemy, they also completely resist what you have to say no matter how much logical sense your argument may have. This ends up being a “no win” situation for both parties. You don’t win because you haven’t been able to get your point across, and the other person doesn’t win because they have not learnt from their mistakes or their lack of understanding. Their Ego has simply impeded on making logical sense of the information that you are attempting to convey across to them.

Instead of getting angry or arguing with the other person, the solution is to simply discuss the matter with them in a very subtle and calm manner. Focus on asking the right kinds of questions that will get this person thinking logically about their situation. These questions must however be very subtle, so much so that the other person doesn’t even realise that you are probing them for these answers. Your goal is to get them thinking in a way that will stimulate questions within them so that they are able to find their own answers.

Focus also on touching the other person emotionally, on making them laugh, or maybe even making them feel a little indirect pain that will trigger their emotional thinking processes. A bit of laughter or tears can easily breakdown a person’s defenses, therefore opening them up to a greater sense of awareness and understanding about their current predicament.

People are much like a rubber-band. The more you pull on it the greater resistance you will have to deal with. And if you pull too quickly and too hard, the rubber-band will snap, and you have lost a unique opportunity to get through to them.  People are also much like a balloon that is blown up and deflated again. Once a balloon is deflated it will never take on its original shape. If you hurt them through your anger and attacking remark, they will lose trust and faith in you no matter what your intentions were or how much logical sense you made. And later when you are sincerely trying to help them, they will resist, and you will not be able to get through to them.

  • What is it that I would like to get across to this person?
  • What strategies can I use to get this information across to them in a way that will minimise resistance?
  • How should I talk, behave and present myself before them?
  • Where would be the most ideal place to discuss this matter with them?
  • What would be the ideal time to discuss this matter with them?
  • How can I get my point across in a logical manner that will get them thinking in new ways?
  • How can I get my point across in a way that will stir up contemplative emotions in the other person?
  • What questions can I ask them that will stimulate their thinking processes?
  • What personal experiences and stories can I share with them that will build a stronger emotional bond between the two of us?
  • How can I best show them that I understand their situation and predicament?
  • How can I lead them towards finding the answers that I would like them to discover for themselves?
  • After my discussion with them, should I give them space and time to contemplate what was discussed? How much time should I allow?
  • If I was them and they were me, how would I like to be approached given the circumstances?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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miWisdom today… People have a tendency to say things in a certain way which can stir up negative emotions in other individuals. One must be aware and wary not to get drawn into these kinds of traps, otherwise one is giving full control of their behaviour over to the other person which can easily be taken advantage of. One must therefore come to know and understand the other person’s intentions before they have a chance to overwhelm you.

Once our emotions start to get the better of us we psychologically lose control of the situation. Be it anger, jealousy, anxiety, stress or any other overwhelming emotion, we fall into the trap of reacting to situations instead of proactively taking control over them.

To proactively take control of a situation without being drawn into emotional re-activeness, ask yourself the following set of questions:

  • What is it that this person is trying to do through their words or actions? What are their real intentions?
  • How is it that this person wants me to respond to their words or actions?
  • What is it specifically that I would like to gain control of in this situation?
  • What is the ideal outcome I would like to achieve?
  • If I cannot gain some kind of control over external people, events or circumstances, than what is it that I can control internally from an emotional and mental perspective?
  • What is the best way to project my emotions given the current circumstances and the outcomes that I seek?
  • How do I choose to project my emotions in the moment that will serve my greater good and allow me to take charge of this situation?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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miWisdom today… Being strong and assertive at all times is what really matters if you want circumstances to bend your way. A strong assertive approach will enable you to take control of a situation and will make others unintentionally miss gaps or oversights in your potential lack of knowledge or effective strategy. In the end, this all boils down to one’s levels of confidence and how one projects that confidence out towards others.

When in conversation with another person, you will notice that the person with the most confidence is the one who controls (or at least appears to control) the situation. People naturally and unquestionably trust and have faith in those who project high levels of self-confidence and belief. As such, one must strive at all times to bring forth high levels of confidence in one’s interactions with other people. If this is difficult to do, than Act as If you are confident, as though you are auditioning for a role in a movie. Don’t take yourself too seriously and have some fun experimenting with your new found assertive nature.

  • Is it me or them? Who is currently projecting the most confidence within this interaction?
  • How can I raise my levels of assertiveness and confidence in the moment?
  • How must I perceive myself at all times to ensure I maintain peak levels of confidence?
  • Do I understand that confidence is built through knowledge, experience and understanding? The more I learn, experience and then attempt to understand the outcomes, the more confidence I will grow within myself.

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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miWisdom today… You must at the very least appear to be indispensable to others within your network. In this way you will hold insurmountable power of influence over your relationships with them. When you are wanted and needed for very specific reasons people will flock to you and will want to assist you with your every need, want and desire. You can become indispensable in two concrete ways:

  1. Become indispensable by creating a strong emotional connection or bond with the other person. If however you are unable to lock away a strong emotional connection with the person you want to influence, than your next best option is to create this bond with someone they hold very dear to their hearts. In such a way you will be able to influence them indirectly through this other person’s decisions and actions.
  2. Become indispensable through a specific knowledge-base or skill that this other person or network of people cannot do without.

Becoming indispensable is a skill in itself that the most successful people and companies have perfected over the course of many years. Think of the great influential minds or inventors of our time whom we just couldn’t do without. Think also about the companies (especially online companies) who we rely on completely for the products and services that they provide us each and every day. This is what being indispensable is all about, and it is one of your keys to abundance and success in life.

  • How can I become indispensable to the people I seek to influence most?
  • What knowledge or skill-sets must I acquire to help me achieve these goals?
  • How can I create strong and long-term emotional connections and bonds with these people on a daily basis?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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miWisdom today… One must be very careful as to when, where and how to raise certain topics or issues with other people.The when refers to the timing of your encounter with this other person. Keep in mind that at certain times people will be more receptive to what you have to say than at other times.

The where refers to the place of your encounter with the other person. Keep in mind that the other person will feel different emotions within different environments. You must approach them within an environment that is going to be helpful to your communication.

The how refers to how you will go about communicating your message to the other person. Keep in mind that it’s not so much what you say to the other person but how you say it. However, choose your words carefully especially when discussing sensitive matters.

Another factor to consider is the whom. Whom this person is in the presence of when you are communicating your message to them is of critical importance. At times whom they are in the presence of will assist you in getting your message across, while at other times it may make your communication a little more difficult. Also keep in mind who may be listening to your communication and how this may influence their perceptions of you or the other person.

  • When is the best time to discuss this matter with them?
  • Where is the best location to discuss this matter with them?
  • How should I communicate my message in order to help them best understand my perspective?
  • Do I want to approach them when they are alone or in the presence of other people? What people specifically?
  • What are the potential consequences of my communication strategy?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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