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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home3/winrthrc/public_html/newgen/sites/all/modules/views-6.x-2.11/views/views.module on line 879.

To Influence People, First Meet Them Where They Are!

As I walked through the door one evening, I was greeted by Jane (my wife) and Matthew (my 10 year old son). They wanted to tell me about a slightly awkward moment for Matthew at school that they felt was caused by his teacher being a bit careless.

The teacher had become aware that Matthew was having some tutoring with a former teacher from the school and allowed this fact to known by the class.

I personally didn't think that this would be seen as a big issue by anyone, but Jane and Matthew were concerned.

Now whether it is social or biological, we men seem to be programmed to solve problems. I went straight into wanting to do a "root cause analysis" and "scenario planning." In other words, what has happened can't be changed, so let's think of how to how to deal with any negative impact that might arise, and also how to prevent similar problems in the future.

Right there in our kitchen, there seemed to be little appreciation of what I considered to be noble and intelligent efforts to resolve the issue! In fact, it was more likely to degenerate into an argument about who was "right."

It was only when I finally shared my empathy for how this might have felt for Matthew in the moment (regardless of whether it was "logical" to feel that way!) that my audience was receptive to me. We could then talk about what might be the best way forward.

This simple episode was yet another useful reminder of the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence in communication.

The biggest insight I ever had into influence was when I learned that the word comes from the Latin word for "flow." It is only when we are "in flow" with someone, can we hope to take them to a different place.

When do you try and gain submission or agreement from another party simply by using pure logic to prove you're right? Have you noticed that it rarely wins people over? In fact, the harder you push them, the harder they resist and convince themselves that they are right!

Great leaders and influencers understand this important fact: Understanding and empathising with another's point of view is NOT the same as fully agreeing with it.

I think people want to feel understood and cared about more than being right.

If you can't give them the former, don't expect them to happily relinquish the latter!


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