Category Archives: Influence

The Truth About Influencing Change: People Only Hear What They Understand

Change is hard. Influencing change is even harder. Sometimes — when we are trying to lead, or coach, or influence, or help someone grow — it can be baffling to see people stuck, unclear on what to do or unwilling to move ahead.

We may explain every way from Sunday and still they don’t get it.

The reality is, something is clear to us because we understand it. For someone who doesn’t understand, they can’t even hear what we are saying. The german writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, a person only hears what they understand. He was right.

So, how can you help others to understand the need for change?

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Examining the myth: Do extraverts make better networkers?

There’s a myth out there that extraverts make better networkers. (In fact, there’s a lot of myths out there about introverts and extraverts but lo, I digress.) The ‘extraverts-make-better-networkers’ myth takes on various forms, including one of my favorites: ‘to be a better networker, just be more extraverted.’

Networking skills and a preference for introversion or extraversion are independent concepts. One does not imply the other. Networking skills are social skills, and social skills are learned.

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The Evolution of a (Hiring) Decision

Many people misunderstand the nuances of the decision-making process. This is especially true when we are faced with influencing a hiring manager to make the decision to offer us a position. Yet understanding this process is crucial when trying to convince someone to make a decision in your favor. The key is to move yourself along the process one step at a time.

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Ethos • Logos • Pathos

I am reading Jennifer Kahnweiler’s great book Quiet Influence. In the chapter on writing, she reminds us of Aristotle’s insights on how to be persuasive. Ethos: Appeal to authority and credibility. People listen to you because of who you are, your …

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