This is a stretch, I know. Their wasn’t somebody with an X that I’ve studied. So this is a book that I enjoyed and it has an X in the title. Kurt Mortensen wrote the book Maximum Influence: The 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion. For us to have maximum influence in our lives, including spiritually, it’s vital that we understand the basics of how persuasion works.
Mortensen says that the power of persuasion is of extraordinary and critical importance to today’s world. He defines persuasion as the process of changing or reforming attitudes, beliefs, opinions or behaviors toward a predetermined outcome through voluntary compliance. He has developed the 12 universal laws of persuasion to illustrate both the art and science of persuasion.
Here are a few of them that I believe really relate to our spiritual influence and a few notes I took around the laws.
The Law of Connectivity – “contagious cooperation”
- “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” – Teddy Roosevelt
- Usually only takes a few seconds to know if we bond with someone or not.
- The more we feel connected to, part of, liked by, or attracted to someone, the more persuasive they will become. When you create an instant bond or connection, people feel comfortable around you. They will feel like they’ve known you and can relate to you. When we feel connected, we feel understood, they can relate to us and trust us.
- People skills – 85% of your success of life is determined by your people skills.
- Rapport – the instant connection. It’s the secret ingredient that makes us feel a tangible and harmonious link with people. Body language – i.e. pointing head toward you shows interest. Mirroring/matching – align your body as that of the person you are connecting with. As you are doing the same as them, they will feel connected to you. You can mirror language, breathing, voice, moods, energy level, etc.
“Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement = no commitment.” – Stephen Covey
- The more you engage someone’s 5 senses, involve them mentally/physically and create the right atmosphere for persuasion, the more effective and persuasive you’ll be.
- Increasing participation – when we take an active part, the more we are connected to it and feel we have a stake in it. Make your passion their passion. Ways to get them involved – role playing, asking for advice, visualization (help others see in their mind your passion).
- Telling mesmerizing stories – powerful tools for persuaders, compelling storytelling automatically creates attention and involvement in your audience. It should be relevant facts coupled with inspiration, faith and person’s innermost feelings will cause others to be moved. Stories should: grab attention and create involvement, simplify complex ideas, create memorable hooks, trigger emotions, tap existing beliefs, persuade without detection, bypass existing resistance to you and your ideas, demonstrate who you are, build interest, encourage participation.
The Law of Esteem – “how praise releases energy”
People want and need praise, recognition and acceptance. Acceptance and praise are two of our deepest cravings; we can never get enough. William James said, “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
- If you present your requests in a manner that compliments or builds up your listeners, they will be much more inclined not only to follow through, but do so eagerly. Compliments have the power to change behavior because they make the recipient feel needed and valued.
- Ingratiation – make others feel important. This is about gaining favor by deliberate effort. Techniques include compliments, flattery, agreeableness. “We don’t normally do this, but for you we will.” “I’m personally going to look into this for you.”
For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.
Janae Bower is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant. She founded Finding IT, a company that specializes in personal and professional development getting to the heart of what matters most. She started Project GratOtude, a movement to increase gratitude in people’s lives.