Behavior Building Exercises For Increased Influence and Power

• Avoid the use of the word "should" and use "will" instead. Say, "I will finish the project at 9:00." Avoid saying the weaker, "I should finish the project by 9:00" Constant use of the word, "will" develops decisiveness and subliminally diminishes dependency on fate and on the expectations of others. Using "will" empowers us to accept that we are the final judges of our action and are ultimately

responsible for the results. Hence, we strive to live up to what we state will happen.

• Avoid the word, "can't" like the plague; firmly say you "can." When asked if you can accomplish a task or responsibility, say you "can." Say, "I can do it." If you believe you really "can't", then say that you can do something else similar or something better. They key is to eliminate the "can't" from your vocabulary. Ultimately, you develop a "you can" attitude which lets you negate all opposition with ease. Others will perceive you to be unstoppable, competent and confident. Case study: Your boss inquires whether an additional marketing project will tax your already chaotic schedule. You know accepting the proposition will jeopardize the quality of your work. So you reply that you can handle the additional job once the critical segments of your current project has been accomplished. Your reply saves you the burden of additional load while making your boss perceive you to be controlled and eager for responsibility.

• When asking questions, formulate your queries that do not elicit yes or no responses. Give questions that demand open ended questions or forces the other person to choose from a multiple choice of answers. We frequently hear the question, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Weak and almost rhetorical, this question demands a yes or no response. It could effectively be rephrased, "What can I do for you?" The latter emphasizes that you mean it. It also forces the listener to give a specific reply. Constant practice of this manner of questioning ingrains a no-nonsense, confident personality.

• Forget that the word "but" exists; replace all occurrences with the word "and." Frequently, we hear someone say, "You did a good job, but ", or "My team accomplished the mission, but ", or, "We can do it for you, but " The sound of "but" rings ominously. It negates whatever good news came before it with bad news. By replacing the word "but" with "and", a sentence sounds more optimistic. Consider the following examples: "You did a good job, and I feel there are ways you could do it more efficiently." "My team accomplished the mission, and there remains some kinks that can be solved immediately." Notice that even though the second part of each statement is negative, the "and" makes the speaker sound more optimistic and in control. It also enables him to assert facts that he'd rather remain hidden. In the long run, speakers using "and" mature assertively.

• Apply the 180 Degree Mindset. Perhaps one of the most powerful mental exercises, this way of thinking replaces fear with power. A lot of us approach a negotiation quaking and fretting. When we meet someone desirable of the opposite sex, our vision clouds and our jaws clamp. These reactions occur naturally, spurred by thoughts of failure. We are preoccupied too much with thoughts of ourselves - we worry about what blunder we might make or whether we might succeed. We overcome this common malady by thinking 180 degrees. Instead of focusing a single thought on ourselves, focus completely on the person before you. Push out all anxiety of how we may behave or what might be the outcome of the engagement; instead, make a complete 180 degree shift in thinking. Flood your awareness upon the other person, trying to empathize with what he may be feeling and seeking to understand his or her position. Push out any thought that has you in it. The key is to lose total awareness of yourself. Lose this self-absorption - and you vanquish your fear.

• Apply the Tiger Mindset- A vigorous and dynamic thought form, the tiger mindset consists of having the inner confidence that you can never fail, regardless of all outside factors. This mental stance protects you against fears of failure. Simply believe that nothing can cause you failure. Nothing.

• Pace your voice slowly and evenly. End all statements with a downward inflection. Fast voices tend to rise in pitch. High pitched voices betray anxiety and degrade the aura of command. We lose our credibility when we sound whiny and incapable of controlling our rate of speech. When attempting persuasion, speak 40% slower than normal, drop the tone by making the voice emanate from the stomach and end each statement with a downward inflection and pause. Furthermore, punctuate each comma with appropriate pauses. This tone of voice endows instant authority to the speaker.

• Use gestures and speech in a controlled manner. Don't make extravagant and wasteful movements. Move with silent precision. Punctuate points with well placed gestures.

• Defend your personal space at all costs. There surrounds an invisible territory that accompanies us wherever we go. The bigger this perceived territory, the more assertive we're perceived to be and the greater the respect we command. Make efforts to increase this hidden sphere of space. When seated on a desk, clear as much room around you. Use personal accessories, like briefcases and dining implements to stake as much desk space surrounding you. When standing, take as much room. Spread your feet shoulder width apart. Square you shoulders. Fill the area around you with sweeping gestures when necessary.

• Eye Contact. The eyes wield much power. A firm steady gaze melts hardy opposition. Sometimes, it is impossible to win the eye-contact war with a more aggressive individual. Aggressive persons use the eyes to stare down weaker individuals. Countering this is easy. Focus the gaze directly on the spot between the eyes right above the bridge of the nose. This generates the illusion that you are gazing right into their minds, past their eyes. The effects can be tremendous. Exercised frequently, eye contact imbues one with actual and perceived authority and generates a forceful character.

• A person's name is the best tool to cut short an unpleasant meeting. Suffering the company of an insufferable bore can drive anyone mad. How often have we sat through a meeting in which someone inconsiderate hogged the whole conversation and wherein the only word you can utter is an "uhu"? Cut short that conversation! First, grab his attention by calling his name. That will throw him off balance. In the subsequent silence, seize the initiative and summarize his points before he can continue. Discuss the points as though the conversation had ended. End with a friendly acknowledgement and indicate your desire to continue another time. Then exit. Rapidly terminating the engagement this way can save hours of frustration and daydreaming.

Send mail to Joseph R Plazo with questions or comments about this book. Copyright © 2000 Exceed International Last modified: December 28, 2000

Ph.D of Persuasion

Confidence and Social Supremacy

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