From Dr. Schofield I learned a valuable secret to influencing that I'll share with you. The secret is this: you get the person's PERMISSION before you suggest, teach, preach or try to be helpful. It takes practice because most of us just want to tell, tell, tell.
Before you begin, you actively LISTEN and then ASK QUESTIONS. As an example, a friend might be telling you about a health problem that you feel you have a solution for. After hearing what he/she has to say, ask something like, "What are your concerns about this?" Listen, then ask, "Is what you're doing working for you?" If the answer is "no," then you can ask, "Would you be interested in hearing about another possible solution?"
Or you can initiate a conversation by saying, "Would you be interested in hearing something I've observed about you?" If the answer is "no" then drop it. If yes, which it usually is because people are generally curious, then you can go on to tell them what you have observed. If you have a suggestion to make, ask if he/she is interested in hearing about a solution you have.
From another wise man, Bill Firth, I learned that it's important to show respect for others by not having our own hidden agenda. He suggests three vital steps to influencing:
- Share value
- Offer a choice
- Remain unattached
Whatever a person decides to do or not to do about what you offer or suggest is totally up to them and it's okay whatever choice that is.
So there you have it...one of the greatest secrets to influencing another person is by showing great honor and respect.