Article published on October 19, 2023

09_Influence& Inspire_101123.pdf

Mon succès est votre succès

Influence & Inspire

The ability to influence people is a vital skill in the real world. You cannot make others do things, unless they want to. As the saying goes, you can only lead the horse to the water, but you cannot make the horse drink. In order to influence people, you first need them to like you and respect you.

Be genuinely interested in others. A typical person cares more about the small cut on his finger then about a flood in China that kills thousands. Why should anyone be interested in you or what you have to say unless you are interested in him or her first?

Be kind, outgoing, and smile a lot to make a good impression. Remember other people's names by using them in conversations. People like to hear their names, and the use of their names makes your messages more personal to them.

Be a great conversationalist. Engage others to talk about themselves and listen attentively to what they have to say. This is the most important thing you can do to make others feel important, and they will like you and respect you for showing interest in what they have to say.

Never talk about your own interests, but instead talk only about the other person's interests. That will make what you have to say more relevant to them, and they will listen. The key to influencing people is to cause them to desire the change for themselves, not to change themselves so they can please you and satisfy your interests.

You always need to respect others' opinions and avoid arguments like the plague. Arguments will go nowhere. If you "win" an argument, you will cause ill feelings in others and alienate them as a result, so you lose. And if you lose an argument, well, you lose.

So do not argue. A quick way to generate animosity is by failing to admit your mistakes when you are obviously at fault. So if you want to build credibility and respect, be sure that you are swift to admit your errors as soon as you realize them.

Always begin in a friendly manner if you want to try to change others to your way of thinking. Start by asking questions that they will quickly say yes to, in order to get cooperation. Let others feel the idea is theirs. This is very important in trying to influence others to your way of thinking. People can be critical of others' ideas, but if they believe something is their idea, they will be much more in favor of it.

Try to see things from other’s points of view and sympathize with their beliefs. Ask yourself what motivates them to do such and such?

By seeing things from others' points of view, you can influence them accordingly. However, reciprocity works in such away that if you respect others' beliefs, they will appreciate you and your beliefs as well. However, if you cannot sympathize with their beliefs, why should they sympathize with yours?

People are more likely to change their behaviors if the change benefits society as a whole, rather than just you. You must appeal to noble motives. Always assume good faith, and call attention to others' mistakes indirectly.

Begin with genuine praise and appreciation; smile; and just briefly mention something that you think they did incorrectly.  Do not say that they are wrong, but rather seek to clarify, so you can understand and learn from what they did. And before you talk about others’ mistakes, talk about yours first.

Nevertheless, never give orders, even with the word please. Instead, ask questions. For example, instead of saying, "Please don't smoke here," say something like "Isn't it a nice day outside? Would it be preferable to smoke outside instead?"

If the person says no, do not argue. Try not to reprimand in public, and assume good faith, even when it seems clear that he or she has done wrong. Let the other person save face. Encourage him or her by making the faults seem very easy to correct.

Remember that praise is the best motivator for behavior, so be lavish with your praise and praise even the slightest improvement. Give others a fine reputation to live up to. Make others feel happy about following your suggestions. In addition, give honest appreciation and praise for every good work. Do not argue. Do not condemn. Do not criticize.

Mon succès est votre succès

This 642-page book is the result of a four-year project called Project Tomorrow. During the four-year period, we followed more than 500 trainees, aged from 16 to 72.

It is also the fruit of forty years of experience acquired with local and international organizations and companies and during consultancy, change management, transition, and marketing services. For more information go to: .

About the Author

In addition to writing, Germain Decelles acts as Change Management Strategist. He has over 40 years of business and consultation experience with local and international markets, including sectors such as retail trade, distribution, information technology and communications, transportation, manufacturing, financial services, and government organizations.

Other publications: ISO Pour Tous – Le manuel d’information ISO – Le guide de préparation ISO – La gestion du changement en affaires – La gestion de projet d’affaires – Le changement POUR TOUS Change Your Future, Now! – Mon succès est votre succès – My Success Is Your Success.

Press Contact

Germain Decelles, o.s.j.

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