Influential Advice

It’s always hard to try and influence someone to try and get them to do what you want or to see your point of view.  Influencing someone is a very psychological activity, which is why it is hard for many people.  You have to be able to read people and their body language quickly in order to know what the best way to try and influence them is.

According to an article written by Dr. Judith Orloff, there are three techniques to reading people.

The first technique is “Observe Body Language Cues.”  People display body language every second of every day.  There is no way to prevent yourself from using body language.  In studies it has shown that body language accounts for fifty-five percent of how humans communicate.  So obviously it is an extremely important thing to be able to recognize.  When watching for body language, Dr. Orloff says to focus on for main things: appearance, posture, physical movement, and facial expression.

Appearance is noticing what they are wearing.  Is it a suit, jeans and a t-shirt, a low cut shirt?  Are they wearing any identifying jewelry?  Try and figure out as much as you can from their outward appearance.  How are they expressing themselves through their clothing today?

Posture is observing how they are holding themselves.  Are they slouched, is their chest puffed out, is their head high?  This can also tell you a lot about how a person is feeling, especially toward you.  Are they guarded with their arms crossed or are they open and smiling at you?  Use this to direct the conversation.

Physical movement is focused on the person’s mannerisms.  Do they lean toward or away from you?Are their arms crossed? are their hands hidden? Are they biting their nails nervously?  Mannerisms are a great way to tell how a person feels toward you because they are subconscious actions that we do to comfort ourselves in different situations.

Facial Expression may be the easiest for someone to understand.  If you do not have a good poker face, then your face will be an open book for others to read and understand your emotions.  You can even focus further onto the details of a person’s face to understand what kind of person they are.  Do they have deep frown lines? Are there crows feet next to their eyes because they smile a lot?  They best thing to do is to focus on the details of a person to figure out how to approach them.


The next technique is to “Listen to your Intuition.” Here there are again four steps to help you understand how to do this.  The first step is honoring your gut feelings.  First meetings are very important.  Gut feelings are primal and can be the best way to judge a person.  They are your internal truth meter.  Pay attention to them.  The second step is feeling your goosebumps.  Now I know it sounds weird, but goosebumps are a great way to judge a person. They convey when you resonate with someone.  They also happen when you feel deja-va during a situation.  The third step is paying attention to flashes of insight.  If you feel you have an “ah-ha” moment then pay attention to it.  It means your brain is making connections that you might not be consciously aware of.  The fourth step is watching for intuitive empathy.  If you have a physical emotional response to a person when they are telling you about an emotional situation, then this means that you are feeling empathy toward the person.


The final technique is to “Sense Emotional Energy.”  Once again there are four steps to this technique.  The first step is to sense people’s presence.  The emotions we emit does not always coincide with what we are saying.  Try and pick up subtle emotional atmospheric changes.  The second step is to watch people’s eyes.  The direction someone glances with their eyes can tell a lot about the emotions someone is feeling and thinking while they are talking.  The third step is noticing the feeling of a handshake, hug, and touch.  People will convey a lot through body language, as I mentioned earlier in the article.  This will also be conveyed through touch.  Are they tense, relaxed, shaky, nervous?  The fourth step is listening to the tone of people’s voice.  This is a lot like touch.  It will react to the emotions someone is feeling.  is their voice loud, soft, choked, tight, shaky?  Try to pay attention to how they are saying certain words as well.  This will also key into how they are feeling toward different situations.

Now that you understand how to read body language, you are now ready to try to influence someone.  But is may be different to do in the business world.  Below there is a video from the Business Insider.  It gives you seven tips to influencing someone in a business setting to try and get what you want.  It will take awhile for you to be able to use these things in a real conversation.  It has taken me a long time just to be able to read people’s emotions.  Just remember that everyone is different.  Be patient and make sure to give it a lot of practice, then you’ll be able to start using the influential tips in different situations.

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