Use this influence model to get what you want
Influencing others is an everyday part of life. But why do we so often find it so difficult?
Why don’t people just listen to logic, look at the facts and see that what I am telling them is the best option and they should be lining up to join the cause?
The bottom line is that everyone is influenced by different things and in different ways. And what works for one person doesn’t seem to work for another.
So what if I told you that there is a little known secret from Ancient Greece that could completely change the way that you influence people?
Wisdom From The Ages
Let’s travel back to just over 300 years before the birth of Christ to Ancient Greece. The warrior king, Alexander The Great was sweeping all before him. Greek civilisation stood at its zenith. Alexander was advised by, Aristotle. , the greatest philosopher of his age. Aristotle, himself, was the protégé of another one of Ancient Greece’s greatest philosophers, Plato.
And it was Aristotle, the adviser to the young king and at the centre of royal palace intrigue who observed that there were three ways to influence people. They are:
These three ways to influence are as relevant today as they were over two thousand years ago.
This is all about somebody’s personal credibility.
How we perceive someone will enhance or detract from the influence that they have over us. For example a person’s position in an organisation can influence you to adopt a particular cause. After all, who wants to go against the boss or the owner? Titles, awards and letters after your name can also add to somebodies influence. Likewise, the fact that they have written a book or appeared on TV can enhance their credibility. It could also be, while we are on the subject, the way that they dress, their body language or the way they enter the room. Remember the old adage “First impressions count”?
Ethos rarely wins an argument but it does add extra weight. We all like to be impressed by which university someone went to but after a while if that is all they talk about it tends to lose it’s shine.
The next way that Aristotle identified was Logos , or in it’s modern English: “logic”.
Let’s face it, who can argue with facts?
In fact, that is the whole way that our education system is set up. We learn facts, we make arguments using facts and we get awarded GCSE’s, degrees etc.
What that creates is a management cadre who are at home with facts. In fact, as long as they give good sound facts they influence people…right?
And if someone doesn’t agree with them then we bombard them with more facts.
At the end of the day this is all about IQ.
But what if the other person doesn’t care about facts? What chance have you got to influence them?
This leads to the last way that Aristotle identified that you can influence people—Pathos.
Pathos is all about engaging with people emotions. Emotions, unlike logic, are not based upon facts or figures. It has everything to do with how you resonate with someone’s heart.
In business leadership this presents us with a problem. Firstly, as mentioned in Logos, we come from a background where facts reign supreme.
Secondly, speaking from the heart can seem a bit “fluffy”. Finally, it requires an honesty and bravery that can be very uncomfortable.
Yet, it is this level of authenticity which creates genuine engagement and influence.
Simon Sinek wrote a brilliant book entitled : “Start With Why”.
It’s the “Why?” that people want to know about. Why do you care? Why should they care?
It is emotions, even more than logic, that influence all of us. Let’s think about it another way.
What influenced you to buy your house or get together with your partner – ethos, logos or pathos?
We are susceptible to all three of these, Ethos, Logos and Pathos.
But, we will all have our preferred style which is why we resonate with some people easier than with others. It also means that we get great results when influencing one person but not another.
To become effective influencers we need to use EQ (Emotional Intelligence) as well as IQ.
As Maya Angelou famously said:
“People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”