Category Archives: Influence

Mark Hamill vs Rian Johnson on who to focus on when you want to influence

At times, I’d say to Rian, “We gotta think of what the audience wants.” And he’d say, “No, we’ve gotta think of what wewant.” – Mark Hamill Who’s right, Luke Skywalker or the new Star Wars director Rian Johnson? They both are. When we’re making a change, when we’re influencing, we do it with empathy. We travel to where the other person lives, where they are most comfortable. We unearth their unstated wants, desires, hopes and fears and try to address them. But it doesn’t stop there. People need to help getting to their best selves. If we just cater to their lowest selves, that’s accommodation, not empathy. We’d be best served to do the double emotional duty – bravely look at what’s underneath for the people we want to help and bravely look at what change we hope to do, what we know to be true, to stand for something. True empathy, true influence, true connection, true change, true teams are built where “what the audience wants” and “what we want” meet. And it all starts with what happens today. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.” – the Rolling Stones  

Also posted in Purpose | Comments closed

Influence Using Feeling

The big news: More people prefer the MBTI function of feeling than thinking when making decisions. So purely ‘rational’ arguments are going to be effective less than half the time. Focus more on influencing decisions by appealing to people’s feeling function. Answer these questions to include the feeling function: How will this benefit people and their needs? How will this lead to more harmony, cooperation and collaboration? Does this take into account people’s values? What are the positives of this for the people involved? Will this make the work environment more supportive and nurturing? Will anyone be hurt? Also important: Do your homework and have the facts to back up your appeal. But remember, the facts are your backup, not your first option. The exception to this is when you know that your audience primarily prefers the thinking function. Then you can just go with the facts. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

Also posted in MBTI | Comments closed

Influencing in the dark

I returned to the Cueva Del Puente (in the Parque Nacional Del Este in the Dominican Republic) on my own later in the week after the owl encounter. This time I went dark, no flashlight, just moving slowly, staying still when needed, feeling my way and being patient with my slowly adjusting eyes. And I felt again and again the rush of air and heard fluttering near my head in the darkness as bats flew by. I met these little creatures where they were, in the environment they are most comfortable, in the way they were most comfortable – in the dark. I, however, wasn’t comfortable. I was scared, facing a dark unknown. But I was also thrilled. This is what it’s like when you honestly try to connect with someone. It’s the ‘hero’s journey’ of communicating and influencing. You leave your known world behind and get curious about where the person you’re trying to influence lives, what is comfortable for them. It’s unsettling. It’s often scary. It’s not easy to see. A plan got you here, but a plan can’t get you any further. As David Whyte said, “What you can plan is too small for you to live.” And you emerge changed yourself. The influencing isn’t just a push. It’s a pull as well. The influencing quest is a journey into the unknown, an adventure – scary, thrilling and definitely memorable.   “To go in the dark with a light is to know the light. To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings, and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.” -Wendell Berry

Also posted in Play, Purpose | Comments closed

Seven Skills For Influencing Negotiations

Ask questions – of yourself too. Asking questions (that you really want to know the answer to) engages the neo-cortex in the brain, which keeps unhelpful emotions out and the thinking brain engaged. What’s the story behind the story?  Look for the underlying emotions – what is really being said. Or partner with someone who has this talent for empathy. How close are you? How close are your common interests? Focus on the commonalities, not the differences. Get creative with solutions (together) – If you brainstorm together, you not only build the capacity for some innovative ideas, but you build good will together. Focus on underlying needs – yours and theirs. Let go of entrenched positions. Clear out your unhelpful emotions – anger, worry, fear, etc. And name theirs (to yourself first, and if it’s helpful, address with them) Walk a mile in their shoes – what are their joys, highs and lows, pain points? Learn more: The Negotiation Quest - Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them.

Also posted in Negotiation | Comments closed

How to Form an Instant Connection With Someone from Pema Chodron

I’ve learned a lot from the work of Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chodron. Here’s one of the most powerful of her many simple exercises to dissolve barriers. Pick a person to focus on. It can be a stranger, a loved one, an enemy, a co-worker, a fellow driver on the road, anyone. Say to yourself, “This person, just like me, wants to be happy.” Say to yourself, “This person, just like me, doesn’t want to suffer.” Notice how your perspective shifts – even subtly – from ‘me vs. them’ to ‘us’.   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success. Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority?

Also posted in EI, Purpose | Comments closed

Sleeping With Strangers

My 15-hour flight to the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival in Taiwan was with EVA Airlines, a Taiwanese airline, on a 777 airplane. It holds over 300 people. After people settled in and we got fed, the lights dimmed and people fell asleep. I did as well, fitfully sleeping off and on for the next dozen hours. It was then I came to my next travel revelation. How extremely comforting it is to be in a plane full of sleeping people from another country! A shared innocence is a powerful and peaceful thing. As Tom Waits sang, you’re innocent when you dream. One of my most powerful memories of traveling in Mexico was sleeping in a hammock in a single-room shack next to the Gulf of Mexico among a dozen local fisherman all in hammocks, Mexican radio quietly droning throughout the night. It was a deeply peaceful experience, unforgettable. We’ve all had enough division to last several lifetimes. We know the ill effects, the “dis-ease” that division causes us internally. If you want to influence yourself and others for a mutually wonderful outcome, go for connection and aim for appreciation.   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success. Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority?  

Also posted in EI, Happiness, Purpose | Comments closed

The Comfort Of a Plane Full of Strangers

My 15-hour flight to the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival in Taiwan was with EVA Airlines, a Taiwanese airline, on a 777 airplane. It holds over 300 people. Within minutes I realized I was in a unique situation. I was one of a handful of white people. Everyone else was most likely from Taiwan. While boarding, everyone around me was holding green ‘Republic of China – Taiwan’ passports. How comforting it is to be in a plane full of people from another country! There’s something special to me about being an outsider, an observer of a culture that is not my own. It provides a fresh perspective on my recurrent patterns of thought and behavior that are usually left unexamined when I’m in the U.S. But even more wonderful is to feel a more universal connection with people not from the U.S. There’s been so much talk in the news these days of dangerous immigrants. In my Emotional Intelligence Works team training, I explore how it’s the amygdala’s job in the brain to divide like this, to classify threats. The amygdala is responsible for keeping us physically safe from harm, but it’s a happiness destroyer. It’s the neo-cortex’s job to unite, to reach for delight. When I’m feeling that connection I know I’m happily being guided by my smarts, the neo-cortex. Human DNA is 99.9% identical. What if there’s nothing to fear from other humans, whether they look like us or differently? This is a helpful question to live into.     Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success. Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority?  

Also posted in EI, Happiness, Purpose | Comments closed

Merle Haggard Changes His Mind on Marijuana and Obama

Merle Haggard died on April 6, his 79th birthday. I really enjoy singing his Okie From Muscogee song. It’s extremely popular with bar audiences and can be taken at face value or with tongue in cheek. Haggard himself never let on exactly what parts of the songs were true for him and what weren’t. However, in reading interviews with “Hag”, I was impressed with two instances of mind changing. The first line of Okie is “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muscogee.” But in a Rolling Stone interview last year he said, “I didn’t know anything about marijuana back then.” He then said, “It’s one of the most fantastic things in the world.” Then after receiving a Kennedy Center Honor from President Obama in 2010, Haggard said Obama is “very different from the media makeout. It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President. There seems to be no shame or anything. They call him all kinds of names all day long, saying he’s doing certain things that he’s not. It’s just a big old political game that I don’t want to be part of.” I’m interested in changing minds. I go in-depth in changing other people’s minds in my Influence: The Power of Persuasion team training. And 40 Days to Change for Good is all about personal change. So I was impressed. It’s a great reminder that if someone in his 70s can change his mind about such weighty topics as drugs and politics, we can surely change our minds too. There’s hope for all of us. What cherished belief is holding you back? Where is there an opening in your wall of always/never (or someone else’s) that you can crack open? Take a crack at what you’d like to change today, in honor of Merle Haggard, RIP. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? 40 Days to Change For Good – Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts. How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts. Change Quest – Time for you and your team to evolve quickly, whether you’re driving the change or the rest of the world is.

Also posted in Change, Training | Comments closed

Bobby Broom and Abraham Lincoln on The Most Important Thing To Do

“An aspiring jazz musician on any instrument should listen to records. The answer to how to improvise is on the recordings. After listening for a year or so, you should begin to be able to sing what these guys are playing – with the records, and eventually on your own.” – jazz guitarist Bobby Broom If you want to communicate anything of worth, the first step is to listen. If you want to connect, to influence, to negotiate effectively, the first step is to listen. If you want to have quality relationships with your spouse, your kids, your pets, yourself, the first step is to listen. Listening. It’s the most important thing to do. And it’s where you’ll find your answers. “When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.” -Abraham Lincoln   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: True Communication – Explore clear, concise, and powerful techniques that work in all situations. Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them.

Also posted in Negotiation, Training | Comments closed

The ‘Real But Not True’ Four Steps from Tsoknyi Rinpoche

As I mentioned last post, I’ve been reading the book Open Heart, Open Mind by Tsoknyi Rinpoche. In it he explains a simple four-word phrase that he repeats to himself: real but not true. Here’s Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s four-step method of working with those four helpful words real but not true. Take a nice, deep breath, observing your inhalation and exhalation. Then take a moment to greet your feelings as guests. Say “Hello,” and start a conversation. You can begin by saying something like “Yes, I know that you’re real.” Then ask, “Are you true? Are you based on present conditions, or are you based on past experiences?” Ask yourself again and again if what you’re experiencing is real or true, until mentally and emotionally you can accept your feelings as real but the conditions on which they’re based as possibly not true. Such momentary pauses can transform your understanding of who you are and what you’re capable of – and in the same instant encourage others. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:  Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts. The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them. Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.

Also posted in EI, Negotiation | Comments closed