We human beings are social creatures, and our world works because of the many ways we interact with and influence one another. We get our way with others by developing bases of power--which derive from a number of personal and organizational sources--and using that power to influence how others think, feel, and act. We succeed in business as well as in life when we learn how best to influence others to do our bidding, accept our point of view, follow our lead, join our cause, feel our excitement, or buy our products and services.
We tend to think that power and influence belong only to those who are very powerful and influential--to kings and presidents, government officials, generals, billionaires, movie stars, renowned athletes, and others among the rich and famous--but this is a fallacy. Influence is so common and so much a part of the fabric of daily life that we usually fail to recognize it when it happens. In virtually every human interaction, there will be multiple attempts at influence, some verbal and some nonverbal.
People tend to use the influence techniques they find most persuasive (see The Ten Laws of Influence). Most people favor three or four influence techniques and use them far more than the others, so they become proficient in using those three or four techniques and are less skilled at using the other six or seven. The most effective influencers are proficient at all ten and know when to use them. They have a full toolbox and can choose the right tool for the right situation and apply it effectively. Influencing is a skill that can be learned and improved. Elements of Influence describes each of the techniques in greater depth and discusses how to improve your use of them.
PART I: Getting Others to Follow Your Lead
Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Influence
Chapter 2: The Ways and Means of Influence
PART II: Ethical Influence Techniques
Chapter 3: Let Me Explain: Logical Persuading and Legitimizing
Chapter 4; Believe Me: Exchanging and Stating
Chapter 5: Finding Common Ground: Socializing and Appealing to Relationship
Chapter 6: What Do You Think? Consulting and Alliance Building
Chapter 7: Finding Inspiration: Appealing to Values and Modeling
Chapter 8: Increasing Your Impact: How to Become More Influential
PART III: The Dark Side of Influence
Chapter 9: I Would Prefer Not To: Avoiding
Chapter 10: There's a Sucker Born Every Minute: Manipulating
Chapter 11: Winning Through Intimidation
Chapter 12: Making an Offer They Can't Refuse: Threatening
Appendix A: Definitions of Power Sources, Influence Techniques, and Influence Skills
Appendix B: Global Influence Research