7 Scientifically Proven Steps to Increase Your Influence:

1. Connect with people emotionally.

Dopamine stimulates that pleasure-reward area in the brain that makes people feel all warm and fuzzy. You need to be relentless about stimulating that part of the brain if you want to influence someone. A great way to do that is by having excellent conversation starters handy.  Ask questions to stimulate the brain: “What was the best part of your day and what was the worst part of your day?” and “What personal passion project are you currently working on right now?”

2. Be emotionally curious.

When you make others feel important, your influence goes a long way. Everyone wants to be liked, loved and accepted. When you fulfill that need for others, you are perceived as being influential. Become genuinely interested in other people. A great way to do this is to ask them open-ended questions. Get people talking about themselves and that will help you build rapport. According to postdoctoral scholar Diana Tamir, a person disclosing information about himself or herself will be intrinsically rewarding.

3. Use high-powered body language.

Researchers at Harvard Business School conducted a study exploring if an individual’s body language could affect other people’s opinions of that person.

Low-powered body language is normally contracted, with the shoulders rolled and the head down or bowed.

High-powered or confident body language is expansive. The head is held high, the arms are loose, the shoulders are set back, and the chest is out. When you manifest powerful body language, you are more influential. Confident body language not only affects the way others see you but also the way you see yourself.

4. Tell a story.

People’s brains are almost hard-wired for stories. When people hear stories, they can feel as if they are right there with the other person. It’s like the listener is experiencing the story along with the narrator. Do you see the potential of how influential storytelling could make you? When someone tells a story, the brain of the other person may be in sync with the storyteller. If you can stimulate the other person’s brain with a story, you can, in effect, get that person on your side. This toolbox should consist of relevant and thought-provoking stories that you can tell at any time when you’re with people. Then after you tell the story, follow it up with some interesting questions.

5. Be vulnerable.

Being open about your emotions increases your likeability and influence. People will perceive you as being real when you admit to weaknesses or flaws. Some people are fearful because of something called the spotlight effect, thinking that others are paying more attention to them than they truly are, according to Psychology Today. But the opposite is true. People can better relate to you when you open up to them. Even though you are the center of your world, you’re not the center of everyone else’s.

6. Ask a favor.

It turns out that asking for help is one of the best things you could do to be perceived as an influential person. This is known as the Benjamin Franklin effect. So freely ask for help in the form of advice, other people’s opinions and their guidance.

7. Become charismatic.

Who is the most charismatic person you know? Why did you pick that person? Most likely you chose that individual because of the way that person makes you feel. Charismatic people make others feel good. Van Edwards provides three nonverbal ways for a person to increase his or her charisma quotient. When talking to someone, tilt your head, align your torso with that person’s and point your toes toward the person, she says.

With these simple steps you can begin to earn the power and influence you need to get things done. However, don’t think it is an overnight process. These steps take time and patience from you to build up a relationship with the person. The person may find out what your trying to do and not want you to gain the influence so they may put up a fight against it.