Why are some people uncomfortable with the idea of influencing others, yet they’re fine motivating them?
I think it has to do with the fact that some think influencing amounts to manipulation and/or trickery, where you make people change for only your own gain and you influence them without their knowledge.
The truth of the matter is that influence simply means that you’ve helped someone make a change. Whether the change is for your gain, their gain or both is as up to the influencer as it is to the motivator. And while I guess it is possible to influence someone covertly, again, it is up to the influencer. The motivator too could work under the radar, so to speak.
So, then what is the difference between motivating vs. influencing someone. To my way of thinking, when you motivate someone, you get them to want to do something. However, when you influence them, you motivate them to the point of actually doing it.
In other words…
Motivation = Desire to change
Influence = Motivation + Action
So, think about it, what outcome are you looking for when you’re trying to motivate someone? Do you only want them to only want to change or would you like to see actual change? I think most would want the latter and that’s why I say that most people should aspire to being influencers versus motivators.
But how do you influence someone without manipulating or tricking them?
Here are 3 simple steps based on my ultra-brief method called, Instant Influence, which is the only scientifically-proven method of influencing people in 7 minutes or less (see my book):
1) Stress the person’s autonomy or freedom of choice by saying, “I can’t force you to change. It’s up to you” (even if you’re the boss, because the reality is that it is up to them and science tells us that people change in more sustainable ways when they have freely chosen to do so.)
2) Ask what I call “Positive Why” Questions like, “Why might you want to take a step toward change?” and “Why are those reasons important to you?” (Notice that it’s about the person’s motives not about yours. Therefore, it’s not manipulation or trickery. We ask these questions because people are moved to action by self-interest.)
3) Feed back or reflect on only the positive motives for change (by reiterating the reasons why the person has told you she may change. Leave alone the excuses or reasons why a change wouldn’t be good.)
My method is Instant Influence and my promise is 7 Minutes to Results. Influence even the most resistant people at work or at home by using these and other strategies from my book.
I’d love to hear how it goes or call on me for coaching or training.
Exert Your Influence!