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Improving your skill of Influencing people and negotiating to win - Personal development

Updated on April 25, 2011

The need to influence people and negotiate

Man’s desire to be understood and to influence people in turn, is only second to his need for love. We want every one of our ideas to be accepted by others and we do our best to ensure that we present them well, so that people would accept and embrace them. We are constantly listening to others and their ideas and are being influenced by them. Life is a constant interchange of ideas and influencing people is all about interchange of ideas.

There are times when we really need to influence people and get our ideas across; to achieve our goals. This does not mean that we have to be forcefully brutal about making people accept our ideas. There is a lot of skill involved in being able to present your ideas in an acceptable manner. This is what leadership is all about – getting your ideas across, convincing and influencing people and getting them to do what you want.

Tips for the art of influencing others

Convince yourself Before you begin to convince others, you need to be clear about your ideas. You have to have your facts and figures clear. You need to be sure about what you want to say and be passionate about it. If some of these components are missing, you could easily fail to influence people. So make sure to prepare yourself even before you try to convince others.

Prepare adequately Be conversant not only with all the facts but also with the pros and cons of the idea/argument that you plan to present. This would prepare you for any turns that a discussion may take and help you handle any negative points that are raised by others.

Go in with a positive outlook Consider the people you want to influence as your well wishers. It is important to go into a discussion, especially if you want them to subscribe to your ideas with a positive approach. Going into a discussion with a negative outlook not only conveys a negative perspective to your listener, but antagonises them even before you had your chance to say your piece.

Tools for influencing people and negotiating skills

Good communication skills Clarity of ideas, lucidity of presentation, politeness, firmness, openness and being reasonable are all skills that you would need. Listen to what the other person is saying attentively. This conveys the impression of openness and fair play. Arrogance and brutal force never works if you want to influence people. You could just buy their attention for a little, but you can never have their heart.

Be passionate. You need to be passionate about your ideas. If you are not passionate nobody is going to buy what you say. You passion should be what influences others and helps them make up their mind. Very often, it shows people that what you are saying is something worth believing in.

Be in control Being passionate is different from being emotional and out of control. You need to be in control of your emotions all the time. Never do or say anything rash, this would always work against you. When you are in control you come across as being balanced and rational in your approach. This is enough to convince people.

Save the secret weapon for the last. When you come to the negotiation table, always make sure that you do not exhaust all your points. Make your pivotal point your secret weapon. When you come across road blocks, this could save your day and get you that deal you are looking for.

Negotiating to win and influence

Never lose sight of the objective Stick to your guns all the time. Never give up on your main objectives. You could always negotiate with the smaller ones. You can settle for different ways of doing things but not the main idea itself. This will give others the feeling that they have a part to play in the negotiation.

Negotiate to win Never go into a discussion with a compromise formula in mind. Always go in with an attitude of a winner and negotiate well to win. When the other person sees your weakness, they would be ready to pounce on it. So make sure that you go in with every idea of winning every round.

Be flexible In the course of discussion things may not go the way you expect them to. Be ready to change the way you are negotiating. Have alternate arguments ready before you start your discussion. Influencing people is all about knowing when to change the course.

Accepting compromise. This should be your last resort. If your proposition is further from what the other party has in mind, there is no point in going ahead with your discussion. You need to device a compromise formula at such a stage. Use bargaining skills to get the best deal for yourself. 

Win friends and Influence people responsibly

Win friends When you negotiate or try to influence people, never do it with a motive to defeat people. Respect the opinion of others and give them their due. This way you will have friends and followers who know that you care not only about yourself and your ideals but also about the people involved. You may have won friends and supporters for life.

Exert influence responsibly. When you exert influence over people do it responsibly and without a selfish motive. Exert influence to better the lives of others, while you have your goals met. Always make sure there is certain amount of growth and learning that is passed on to your circle of influence. Develop leaders and make a better tomorrow.


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    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Yes, walking the talk is important, and influencing others not only to achieve your goals but to take them to a higher place are important facts to be kept in mind among other things. Respecting the opinions of other is another pretty important aspect to influencing people. Thank you Gajanis for the read and the comment, much appreciated.

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 6 years ago

      Very important issue you have highlighted here in your doubt learning the art of influencing others requires lot of realistic exercises which revolves around self perfection and the fact that if your acts matches with your will act as a catalyst in influencing the motto is, 'first present yourself as a role model'.Thanks.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Marcoujor, it is wonderful of you to highlight the need to respect the views of others though you do not subscribe to it. Thank you for reading and pressing the tabs. I greatly appreciate that. God Bless!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi sofs~~ This is very well outlined/ explained~~ truly people in all lines of work/ all positions can be influential with these points~~ to me, while all are important~~ flexibility, respect for the person (although you may disagree with their stance) and always remaining true to your bottom line are the foundation.

      Thank you~~ Voted UP, AWESOME & USEFUL...

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Hi annaw, I agree with you that going with a win-win attitude is certainly important. The scratching the back part is not my idea of winning, that I would think is compromise. But all are tools at a negotiating table and all have their value. Thanks for the comment and sharing your views. Much appreciated.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Hi Tim, yeah respecting people, their ideas and taking care of their interest without brutally pushing your ideas through is the only way to influence people, win friends and have your cake and eat it too. Yeah that works for me, all the time. Thank Tim for the read and the comment, it is greatly appreciated.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Thank you Paradise, I appreciate the read and the comment.

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 6 years ago from North Texas

      Going into a negotiation with a win-lose attitude will often prevent you from getting what you most need from the other party. Any negotiation should be approached with a win-win attitude. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours. We live in a society that emphasis winning at all costs; how you define winning is the key.

      Good Hub, thanks for sharing

    • timorous profile image

      timorous 6 years ago from Me to You

      Hi sofs; Yeah, you're quite right. It's all about fairness. I find it helpful to make your proposition somehow beneficial to the other person(s), while still getting what you want. Nice going.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great hub. All your advice works!