The techniques in this series sometimes have people asking, “Mike, isn’t this manipulation?” My response is, “Yes, it is, but remember manipulation differs from influence in the same way snails differ from escargot.” Interpretation matters.
For example, I wish to influence my wife’s birthday experience by finding a gift she will like. Am I manipulative because I consciously worked weeks to find such a gift? Would going out at the last minute without much thought be better? At minimum, she would appreciate the effort. Our people would feel the same way especially if we’re making their work experiences better.
TED presenters thoroughly plan and practice for months, sometimes hiring acting coaches, working hard to influence our experience. TED’s curators advise and edit talks, fitting them into one of several different formulae, looking for the right stories, gestures, intonations and signature “Aha” moments within an eighteen-minute timeframe. Ensuring a consistent consumer experience no different than what McDonald’s popularized and many businesses do today keeps us returning – manipulation or influence?
Radiation can kill people or cancer; these techniques can manipulate or influence, a function of our intentions, sincerity and relationships. People often fear change. We can help them overcome that with these techniques. Consider a doctor who refused to help a dying patient because she was afraid she might kill him. Consider a manager who refused to help an employee in danger of losing his job because she was afraid he would interpret her efforts as manipulation.
Where would we be with fire if people were fearful of it consuming them in flames?
- Techniques Leveraging Relationships in Communications
- Technique Personalizing Communications and Conversations
- Leveraging Compliments in Conversations, A Technique
- Leverage Relationships in Conversations, A Technique (Pt 1)
- Leverage Relationships in Conversations, A Technique (Pt 2)
- Leverage Relationships in Conversations, A Technique (Pt 3)
- Leveraging Relationships, Manipulation or Influence?