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To have influence, show up

Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve. Tom Landry

My friend Jen Hegna from Byron MN, in her Grin and Bear IT blog writes about what she is learning about influence. She discusses a book study on Influencer: the New Science of Leading Change that she is doing with her class on instructional leadership. Based on her summary of the book, I just bought the Kindle and audio versions. (Damn, Amazon gets a lot of my paycheck!)

So I am going to return the favor, Jen, and suggest another book on the same topic that has had a big impact on my thoughts about getting others to do stuff they don't necessarily want to do (per Landry's quote above): Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. First published in 1984 and revised a few time since, Influence to me is still the bible on the topic.

Calling them "weapons of influence," Cialdini devotes chapters to reciprocation, commitment, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. The book address influence not through the lens of education, but draws examples from everyday life (Why do charities often give you a gift before you even commit to a donation? - The rule of reciprocity - human nature says that we feel compelled to return the favor when given a gift.) Highly readable and quite useful.

One of the "likeability" strategies he suggests is to always attend happy events - awards programs, building openings, any sort of celebration. Even if you have played absolutely no role in the event, go anyway. When others see you repeatedly at happy events, they will subconsciously associate you with happiness, and you will therefore be more likeable.

My experience is that all influence is personal and individual.

All change starts with a single person.

Up your influence game.

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