Monday 21 September 2015

Testing skills #2 - Influencing by listening

Having recently attended an excellent internal workshop on the' artistry of influence'.  One of the key takeaways I got from the course was to be able to influence you need to STOP and LISTEN to what the person is saying and most importantly how they are saying it.

During the course I discovered that when communicating we have a preference for using one of three types of senses, sound, sight and touch.  Which when converted into communication terms become auditory (sound), kinesthetics (touch) and visual (sight).

Do they use visual words such as 'see, bright, focus', kinesthetic 'feel, handle, hard' or Auditory 'hear, ring a bell, sound right'.

Once you uncover their prefer sense for communicating you can try and match their preferred sense.  This is called pacing and its roots can be found in our tendency to form tribes and groups based around similar traits.  This enabled us to survive as a group, since we shared similar habits and vocabulary.  It also encouraged strong relationships within the groups.

It is also useful to established the tonality of the person you are listening to.  Are they talking quickly, loudly, slowly or quietly? Ask a friend to help you practice by matching the voice tonality and their preferred sense.  By listening to others and the way they talk you can start to establish a rapport and build a relationship in which they can be influenced on a subconscious level.

Be careful when influencing others that it does not become more than just trying to persuade others of your thoughts and ideas.  If people feel or find out they are being manipulated then you will loose their respect and destroy any possibility of a working relationship.  The key aspect when trying to influence people is to ensure that they know it will have a positive benefit for them, even if at the same time you will gain a positive benefit.  The person you are trying to influence has to see a benefit in it for them.

It is not about YOU it is about THEM,

There is a lot more involved in using listening as an influencing tool and this is only an introduction.

Let me know how you get on with this tip on influencing by listening.

Further reading:

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