How to influence people

Those who are able to influence others are successful in whatever it is that they do.

Influencing others and bringing them to your wavelength is not about bullying or forcing someone to do something, its about making them do what you want them to do out of their own volition. Here’s how to go about it:

Show interest in the person in front of you

You have to be interested in what others want to say, and genuinely so. They should feel wanted and listened to. Pay attention to what they are saying. Mostly, people complain that everyone ignores them, and no one listens to them. Don’t give anyone a chance to feel that way


Even if someone is objecting to your way of thinking or your ideas, keep a smile on your face. Not a creepy full-mouthed grin, but a gentle smile to show that even though they are against you, you are still on their side.

Engage them in the conversation

Engage people in a conversation. Look at everyone when you speak. Remember their names. Let them speak their mind. Don’t interrupt when someone is saying something, even if it’s wrong. Wait for them to finish.

Respect their opinions

Respect everyone’s opinions. It doesn’t matter if it’s of no use to you. Keep control of the conversation and keep directing to the main issue at hand, but let people talk. Give them the feeling that they are contributing, just like everyone one else.

There’s no harm in admitting your faults

If you feel you have committed a mistake, admit it. Don’t wait too long to say it out loud. There’s no shame. In fact people will respect you more for being so forthright and honest with them. They will have more faith in you, and will believe that you are a just and fair leader.

Be friendly

Always be friendly. A pat on the shoulder, a shake of hand. All these little things matter. You could have had the worst arguments, but maintain a friendly demeanour.


Always try and put yourself in the shoes of the other person. You never know what he or she is going through. So keep an open heart and be empathetic towards people.

Appreciate first, criticize later

Always appreciate people’s good points, before criticizing them for their flaws. Even then the criticism should be constructive. Don’t ridicule them in public or try to humiliate them by showing how stupid they are. Be a professional.

Don’t bully, or order

If you want something done, bullying or ordering is not the path to take. No one likes to be ordered around. Be nice and respectful. Ask nicely. The person being asked will be much happier to do it.
Influencing people is an art. It boils down to learning the skills. Master these and people will be eating out of your hands.

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