If you think that trying to get your dog to do a silly trick is hard, then trying to get other people to see your point of view is an even more difficult thing to do. Try telling someone why one presidential candidate is better than the other, why the LA Kings are the worst hockey team this year or why your mom is better than your neighbor’s mom. It is very hard to do because many people are already set in their beliefs and nothing you can say will ever change their minds.
At certain times, it is really not worth fighting over in an attempt to change someone’s mind and beliefs. Then there are certain times when you have to stamp your foot down and put up a good battle. A good example is when you are fed up at work and think you deserve a big fat raise. There are some simple techniques that you can use that will help you in trying to influence people and the way they think.
The following plan outlines the key steps you need to take to get an influential advantage. These steps can be applied to any topic of conversation in which you are trying to change their mind about. These steps work so well because they are very simple and easy to use.
1) Explain your point of view.
Make sure you do this by supporting your idea with known facts. Throw in some data and statistics to help explain your side. Another important detail to keep in mind is how you use body language. It should be inviting and friendly, not hostile and attacking. Your objective is to lay everything out on the table and give them your point of view for analysis.
2) Listen to their opinions.
Round one is over and it’s their turn now. Let them do the talking and you do the listening. You may be pleasantly surprised when you find out something you did not know about the subject.
At this time, do not be quick to dismiss their ideas. This is the time for building a bridge so that you can get them to see your point of view. Your objective here is to figure out the reason they feel the way they feel and how you can change that.
3) Figure out if they care enough to change their mind.
This is step will help you find out if your battle is worth your time. Everyone has their passions. Some people you find may be more passionate about something than someone else. If you find that the other person does not give a care in the world, then they will not take the time to listen to you or be open to changing their mind. So the bottom line is that you should find someone that really cares about the same subjects that you care about. If you figure out that they are not 100% interested, then trying to influence them is not worth your time.
4) Show your practical side.
Provide practical examples when you discuss your point of view. This is similar to showing them that it is easier to go down the mountain then to go up on it. One great example can be all that you need to prove that your way is better. You just need to show them some sort of proven evidence since it is hard to deny facts and proof. Once you achieve this, you will find that it will be far easier to change someone’s mind.
5) Now all you have to do is ask.
Once you have given proof to your point of view, you need to ask them to switch over to your side of things. If you do not ask, then you will never know. The worst that can happen is that they say no.
By following these five steps, you can help influence others without being forceful. Being totally aggressive ruins any chance you have of changing someone’s mind, no matter how slim. Remember to always be prepared before attempting to change someone’s point of view. If you cannot show that you know what you are talking about, then they will always have doubt in your set of opinions. It is easy to influence people as long as you show that you are knowledgeable, trustworthy and friendly in the process.