This is the third article of a five-part series where I provide suggestions that you can start adopting right away to promote excellence within and outside your organization. If you missed any of the previous articles, please click here.
I will build on the content from “The Go-Giver” book series written by Bob Burg and John David Mann, as well as my nearly four decades of international corporate experience, first as an executive and now as a coach.
Today, we will cover the third principle, The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
If you want to attract people to you and your ideas, there are two broad ways to accomplish this:
- Use positional leadership, which may drive compliance but is not very effective, or
- By influence, which drives commitment by focusing on “what’s in it for the other person.”
Three features that enable genuine influencers to accomplish great things with and through people are:
- They kick off meetings by “framing” the issue or topic to be covered and by clarifying the goals, then they step back to let the discussion flow.
- They step into the other person’s shoes. They listen to the interests of the meeting participants to understand what’s in it for them.
- They let go of having to be right and allow team members to share their suggestions without being concerned about contradicting the leader.
Bob Burg, co-author of “The Go-Giver,” follows what he calls “The Golden Rule of Business”: “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” A variation of this rule also holds true for relationships within an organization: “People will assist, do things for, make things easier for, speed up the process for, and collaborate with those whom they know, like, and trust.”
How can you apply the three elements of this Golden Rule of Business to the corporate world?
- Know: It’s not just about who you know, but also who knows you and knows how effective you are in leading and influencing others.
- Like: By showing genuine interest in a person, you will find that the know, like, and trust relationship builds faster. Ask them questions, such as how they started their professional career, what they enjoy most from their job, and in what ways can you contribute to their work.
- Trust: This may take time, and it’s one area where referrals, covered in Part 2, can become very useful.
There is no better or more powerful way to influence others than by switching your focus from “What’s in it for me” to the “What’s in it for them.”
Contact me if you see an opportunity to adjust your personal or team’s influence style as a step toward adopting a culture of excellence The Go-Giver Way and enjoying extraordinary results.
Percy M. Cannon