As our paths cross, entwine, diverge, and reconnect, we form a greater whole—an interconnected web of influence. You are already part of this collective power. The root of the word “influence” is the Latin influere, to flow in—as a river, a current. Your influence flows from other people and to other people, and from them to others, and so on. Sometimes you’re aware of your own ripple effects, sometimes not.
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We are interested in others when they are interested in us.
Keep in mind that people are more likely to say yes to a face-to-face request, and far less likely to respond to a social media post. The pressure and likelihood of saying yes depend on the closeness of the interaction. Use your own judgment about balancing the two, and focus on the long ...
Ease makes people happy, and effort can really annoy people. In a study of 75,000 customer service calls, researchers found that 81% of customers who reported a difficult experience said they intended to complain to friends or post negative reviews, while only 1% customers who re...
You don't have to be a 'person of influence' to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me.
When Zoe Chance asks people which influence skill they’d like to master, the most common answer is charisma. When she asks what that means, they tell her charisma means people pay attention to you.
So how do we get people to pay attention to us? You could run through the office in your und...
You might not be selling something, but you can still take inspiration from a little-known marketing metric for measuring ease called the Customer Effort Score, which comes down to a simple question: How easy was it?
How customers answer this ques...
In 2005, the “Cajun Navy” rescued 10,000 of their neighbors from Hurricane Katrina. Rebecca Solnit writes in Hope in the Dark:
“In Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of boat-owners rescued people—single moms, toddlers, grandfathers—stranded in attics, on roofs, in flooded housing projects...
The biggest misperception about changing minds is that you need to do it at all.
A lot of our behavior doesn’t reflect any conscious thinking; that’s why the best predictor of behavior is ease. It’s more powerful than motivation, price, quality, s...
Because the unconscious mind (system 1) is fast, it is the first responder. The conscious mind (system 2) being slow, is the second-guesser. This means the unconscious mind has more influence on the conscious mind than vice versa. Gut reactions can, and often do, inf...
Influence doesn’t work the way you think because you don’t think the way you think.
In a nutshell, there are two internal systems governing all our thinking and behavior. Behavioral economists call them System 1 and System 2. System 1 is fast, unconsci...
Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes our hearts break open. Sometimes inspiration strikes, our timing is perfect, luck is on our side, and the gates of heaven part for us. And all the time, the seeds of our influence are floating off like the tufts of a dandelion, carried on the wind. Whether we m...
Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.
What do you wish for? Maybe you’re hoping to find meaningful work, lead a successful team, get a raise, share your art, fall in love and have a happy relationship, change a policy, change a politician, or save the planet. Or maybe, right now, you’d just like to get your kids to b...
We tend to overestimate the conscious mind because it’s the only one we can experience, but the unconscious mind is far more powerful. Being influential requires us to focus first and foremost on people’s gut reactions, and on making their path to a choice as easy as possible.
Trying to influence someone means you’re a threat to their time, money, pride, or social capital. Most importantly, influence threatens their attention. Attention is in short supply, and they’re already handling hundreds of influence attempts per day from market...
But when you make an invitation without any pressure whatsoever, people become inclined to lean forward. It’s one of the aikido moves for handling resistance. All you have to do is add a softener to your request like, “I know you’re probably busy,” or “please don’t say yes unless...
The simplest charisma hack is to practice focusing your attention on people one at a time. Start by asking questions and using people’s names more often. Pronouns reveal where your attention is focused (not gender pronouns).
To have charisma is to shine so...
“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison
Insights on authentic influence, not “influencer influence”. Still, if influence is a superpower, and since we all might unconsciously be, or find ourselves, at either the giving or the receiving end of influence, it’s good to remember that where there are superpowers, there are of course superheroes, but there are also supervillains.
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Few of history’s turning points can credit just one hero. Instead, there was an army of poeple who spread the word, or they stepped up and did it.
In Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of boat owners rescued people—single moms, toddlers, grandfathers—stranded in attics, on roofs, in flooded h...
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