The Ten Laws of Influence

Reviewing Laws

THE TENTH LAW OF INFLUENCE

The more power you have, the more influential you will be.

Without power, you would not be able to exercise influence.  Think of power as the fuel that enables your influence engine.  Power is the battery, and the stronger your battery, the more influence you can exert.

There are eleven sources of power:  knowledge, expressiveness, history, attraction, character, role, resources, information, network, reputation, and will.  (To learn more, see Understanding Power.)

To use the logical persuading influence technique, you primarily need knowledge power, which includes what you know and what you can do.  The more you know, the greater your likelihood of successfully using logical persuading because the influencees will be more likely to accept and agree with what you say.  Compare a high school student who tinkers with cars after school to a certified auto mechanic who has worked full time in a first-rate garage for thirty years.  If you need of advice on auto mechanics, which of them is likely to be more persuasive to you?  Knowledge power is not only what you know but how much you know and how skilled and experienced you are in the relevant field.  The greater your knowledge power, the greater your ability to influence through logical persuading.

People who have relatively little influence over others typically have very low sources of power.  They aren’t knowledgeable, they can’t express themselves well, they are unattractive, and they have blemishes in their character.  They don’t have a powerful role in an organization, don’t control important resources, have little information to offer, aren’t well networked, and have a poor reputation. 

Contrast them with someone who is very knowledgeable, is articulate and expressive, has many close relationships, is attractive and well liked, and is known for having strong character.  This person may hold an important position in an organization, control key resources, have considerable information to share, be well networked, and have a sterling reputation. 

Clearly, the latter person will be much more influential than the former.  Power is not simply a “nice to have”; it is essential if you want to be influential.  People will find you more persuasive, compelling, and even charismatic if you have strong sources of power.

So if you want to influence others effectively, then build your sources of power.  The stronger they are, the more influential you will be.