Recently I was invited to give a talk at the CEO Institute about the Psychology of Influence where a group of CEOs of high powered organisations meet to network and discuss how to work through challenges and opportunities. A part of the talk was about how to close more deals, staff selection, etc. I will provide insights from the talk on subsequent posts, but I thought I would provide one insight that might be very beneficial for everyone - In order to be influential, one must understand that there are 3 prerequisites for influencing successfully:

  1. The ability to read and understand others

  2. The ability to read oneself

  3. Develop flexibility in communication with others


Part I - The ability to read and understand others

Everyone talks about good behaviour and poor behavior in organisations, from their people. I would like to share with you one way to pick apart behaviour and its 4 important components. Many of the CEOs asked me what the secrets are to reading people and becoming influential; you must be able to understand what behaviour actually is. Behaviour is comprised of 4 parts:

  1. Motor language

  2. Verbal language

  3. Cognition or your thoughts

  4. Feelings - what you are feeling at the moment


As an example, how many people do you know that talk a good talk, tell everyone they are going to do it, even think about it, but never actually do anything? Well what is happening is they are only displaying 2 components - verbal and thought. The other 2 components of behaviour are missing. Until you understand this, you may never become influential.

One of the things I spend a lot of time on in my training is - teaching people to understand behaviour. This has a huge impact on sales revenues, marketing, internal communication within businesses, your happiness factor, its endemic.

Look out for Part II of this article which will talk about The Ability To Read Oneself.