The Fourth Stage of Incredible Influence

by Daniel Batten on May 12, 2011

Have you ever noticed that if you have a weakness and you don’t talk about it, its like you are broadcasting it and they are hearing it anyway?

The fourth stage of incredible influence (also called “their ears”) is about managing what the other person hears. There are two aspects to this – and you’ll pick up the first part in this blog-post

It doesn’t matter whether its the weakness of your argument, your idea, your product, your service offering or your skillset, it’s as if people “hear” this weakness anyway, even though you don’t say it. That’s because the weakness will show up in the 93% of your communication which is non-verbal.

For example, imagine you are an a job interview and you are worried that you don’t think you have enough relevant experience. Doesn’t it often happen that this is the one area that the interviewer will shine the spotlight on?

Can’t you tell, almost subconsciously, if someone is hiding something, or doesn’t feel totally confident, or isn’t being totally upfront? You may not know consciously what it was, but it leaves you with the feeling (conscious or subconscious) that something was “off”. And the result is that this person fails to influence you.

The same is happening with other people when you try to ignore something which you are worried about and which therefore has “energy” around it.

The best way to stop this happening is by using the following 2 steps to transparency

1. defuse the power which this perceived weakness has, and

2. state it upfront, together with the reason this is in fact your strength.

That way you show confidence, and you have the “right of reply” to that which you were subconsciously broadcasting anyway. It is also hugely trust-building – and trust is one of the three most important ingredients to progressing any business relationship.

For example, for 10 years I worked in the IT industry. I used to think it was a weakness that I’d done a degree in Literature, not IT or computer science. But then I realised that I’d been trained into how to look at things from different angles – rather than just the literal, functional meaning.

This became invaluable when I was selling software, and later – selling the vision of a startup company to a host of different investors – because I could quickly and easily adapt a message to the audience.

But until I was upfront with myself about this “weakness” I couldn’t see it as a strength.

Influential people are up-front with themselves and others about both strengths and weaknesses, and know how to talk to weaknesses, so that even this becomes a strength.

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juliet May 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Good points. I remember a similar thing, feeling disadvantaged when teaching Environmental Studies because I had an English degree, not one in science. But the late Prof. John Morton taught me to turn this around when he said, admiring, ‘You are a generalist. The world needs more people like you.’ After that I was happy to reveal my background and claim it with pride.

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