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Six ways to increase your influence

When it comes to dealing with people, navigating life’s game of social snakes and ladders can be difficult at the best of times. So how do you go from barely navigating people, to skillfully influencing them? Dr Steve Jaynes, Deputy Director of Deakin University’s Master of Business Administration, says ‘Effective leaders are those that have energy, enthusiasm and are respected by others around them.’ Ready to increase your powers of influence? These tactics will help you make a bigger impact socially or in the workplace.

Be emotionally curious

We all like to talk about ourselves every now and then. But how often do you stop to think about what others want to hear? The more you are genuinely interested in the person you are talking to, the more engaged they will become, and the more interesting they will find you. Abandon mundane social scripts from ‘what do you do with yourself?’ to ‘where are you from?’ and get a person’s dopamine flowing by delving deeper into conversation with them.

Develop a magnetic personality

Can you picture someone you love being around? What makes that person special? Odds are it’s the way they make you feel. As humans, we are naturally driven to be connected to others and attracted to those that make us feel good. Bringing out the best in other people will make them stop and take notice of you. Being optimistic and genuinely paying people compliments can go a long way.

Use high-powered body language

Daily meetings and social situations can put many of us out of our comfort zone. But there are a few ways you can use body language to send powerful messages to those around you. Just remember the three T’s. Tilt your head, align your torso and tilt your toes towards a person. Research has shown that this type of body language can increase testosterone (power) and decrease cortisol (stress). Considering the majority of our communication is non-verbal, honing this skill makes perfect sense.

Be a storyteller

Stories are all around us. For starters, our lives are a series of them. When talking to people, try to bring them along the journey with you and be thought provoking. This can be an effective tool of persuasion to help others take your side, but also a way to develop a stronger bond with friends, partners and families. Try writing a new chapter with someone today.

Show vulnerability

When people think of vulnerability, the ideas that come to mind are weakness and uncertainty. But this may be the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Some of the world’s greatest leaders, from Oprah to the Dalai Lama, wear their hearts on their sleeves. As a leader, you can’t be expected to know it all. We are only the sum of those we lean on.

Harness the power of colour

Looking for a job? Research shows the colour blue can have the strongest effect on your potential employer. Why? Because it makes you come across as trustworthy, loyal and stable. Grey is generally not the best colour message to send, as it can demonstrate a neutral, quiet personality (unless that’s what the job calls for).

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