Chapter 6
with impact
how to get
others to
do what
you want
‘You don’t have to be a “person of
influence” to be influential.
Scott Adams, author, cartoonist and
creator of Dilbert
ou want that job? You have to persuade someone to give it
to you. You want your plans implemented? You need the
buy-in of your boss and colleagues.You want someone to go
out with you?You have to get them to say ‘yes’.
One of the most important ways in
which we have impact on others is by
influencing them to do what we want. If
we cannot do that we will find it hard to
achieve as much as we would like in life.
Think of the great leaders of history.
One thing they all had in common, from
Genghis Khan to Gandhi, was the ability to take others with them,
to get people to follow them.You may not aspire to have impact on
a global scale, but you need the same kind of impact on the world
in which you move. You can only do so much on your own. You
need to motivate others to march to the beat of your drum.
Influencing skills are particularly important where you have no
authority, which let’s face it is pretty much every situation you
find yourself in these days. There may have been a time when you
could simply tell others what to do, but it is not like that any more.
Even when you are the boss, you need influencing skills to get the
best from your team. Command and control is no longer an
option: you need to be able to motivate people in order to get them
to give their best.
one of the most
important ways in
which we have impact
on others is by
influencing them to do
what we want
94 Impact
Certainly you cannot tell colleagues, friends or neighbours what to
do, and clients can easily take their business elsewhere, so you
need to tread carefully there. You have to get others on side. You
have to win them over.You have to persuade them.
Try laying down the law to your children. Will they do what you
tell them? Will they ever! Once again you will need all your
communication skills to coax and cajole them into taking their
lead from you.
Finally and this is probably your biggest challenge of all there
are people in authority: your boss, your boss’s boss, maybe even
your parents. Plus there are others who have power over you, such
as the police, the tax office and parking wardens.That is where you
will really be put to the test.
The good news is that you have been influencing people every day
of your life so far. When you were a child you knew how to get
mum and dad to buy you sweets, let you stay up late or borrow the
car. Stop and think for a moment about all the strategies you use
already. Which ones work? Which ones don’t? Where is there room
for improvement?
We do not all pass the toughest tests and that is because most of us
only use a handful of influencing and persuading methods. We use
them over and again in the various situations we encounter
sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. We are not always as
effective as we would like to be.
What if you had a wider repertoire of techniques, though? Maybe
even a tool chest bulging with brilliant ways of dealing with
different people and different scenarios. Well, you can have. In
this chapter we will help you expand your options by giving you
lots of ideas for influencing others which you can put into practice
Influence with impact how to get others to do what you want 95
The difference between influencing, persuading
and manipulation
So far we have talked about influencing and persuading as if they
are the same thing, but in fact there are important differences
between them.
Persuasion is always something you do intentionally, and will
normally be apparent to your ‘target’.Typically it involves an
explicit presentation of information or ideas, either verbally or
in writing.You set out to persuade someone.
Influence is not always deliberate; you can influence someone
without knowing you are doing so, or without intending to do
so.You can also set out deliberately to influence others, and the
fact that you are so doing may be hidden.
Some of the most effective persuasion techniques also have an
influencing element.This will often ‘hook’ the target’s unconscious
mind without them realising. In this book we will use the words
‘influence’ and ‘persuade’ as interchangeable, unless only one
applies to that situation.
Superiors, bosses
authority figures
Peers, colleagues,
Suppliers, clients,
Direct reports,
Your need to influence extends in four directions to make an impact to
those above you, those at the same level and those who report to you

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