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Influencing One Way or The Other

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We all influence people to our point of view. How do you influence?

It turns out that there is an influencing spectrum.  On one end of the spectrum are people who influence (and want to be influenced) through fun, energy, excitement, emotion, and engagement. On the other end are people who influence (and want to be influenced) through logic. Your preferred way of influencing and being influenced will fall someplace on this scale.

Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and conflict happen when the energetic ones try to influence the logical ones or vice versa. We normally remain unaware that the underlying issue is this preference for logic or energy. We are susceptible to mislabeling the problem as a deeper and unfounded character flaw in the other.

When an energetic type engages a logical type, the logical person thinks, “There’s no way you can be that enthusiastic about this topic. I must conclude that you are trying to trick me. I will leave my guard up and remain aloof.” When a logical type engages an energetic type, the energetic type thinks, “Whoa! You are really cold. C’mon, how about a smile?! You must not like me. I’ll keep my guard up by getting even more enthusiastic.”

Of course, energetic and logical types can work together well by getting past this surface-level difference. Recognize that the logical types fear being snowed and the energetic types fear being rejected. And know that no type is right, wrong, better, or worse. Here are a few further suggestions:

  • If you are an energetic type and want to work with a logical type, start with the task-at-hand, pause before you speak, think about what you want to say before you speak, present your case logically, slow down, and calm down, even a little.
  • If you are a logical type, you can work well with energetic types by opening with a welcoming smile, continue with a friendly personal conversation (e.g.weather, weekend plans, health) before moving to the task-at-hand, ask what the other thinks (we energetic types often don’t know what we think until we’ve heard ourselves say it!), speed up, and pump up, even a little.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: whittaker_colin via photopin cc

2 thoughts on “Influencing One Way or The Other

  1. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for today’s note. I find this insight so valuable as one who has “energetic” tendencies, I have experienced firsthand the value in employing a few Vulcan traits when needed. Communication works so much better in those instances.
    Many thanks again,

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