This article comes from Entrepreneur.
The popular saying “perception is a reality” is true. Your ability to influence others to act comes from their perception of you, not from your best intentions. Trust, credibility, and authenticity have the power to move people to act.
These five methods are needed to improve the skills that lead us to increased influence:
How we perceive ourselves doesn’t always match the way others do. We don’t know what we don’t know, and rarely will others tell us. If we don’t ask for honest, detailed feedback from someone we trust, we remain in the dark. To know what our listeners see and hear, we need to become self-aware. Only then can we begin to make improvements.
Our message and our delivery must be in sync. We can’t give a high-powered motivational speech while standing onstage stiff and rigid. We also can’t expect others to trust our message if how we communicate one day is drastically different from how they see us on the others. First, our message and delivery must be in sync. Second, we must be consistent throughout every interaction, Monday to Sunday.
Our reputation precedes us. It enters the room before we do, affecting our ability to influence others, either positively or negatively. It represents how we define ourselves and what others can expect from us.
Influence comes from the ability to adapt our message, our reactions, and our communication style on the fly to meet our listeners’ expectations and needs.
When we can connect with listeners emotionally, we create momentum for our message. That momentum impacts others, even when we aren’t physically present.
Each method builds on the one before it. Miss one method and your ability to influence others diminishes. When we embrace each method, we go beyond being good communicators and rise to the level of powerful influencers. Only then can we inspire people to act on what we have to say.
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