Ultimate Guide to Influencing Others, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
30 items | 198m read

Ultimate Guide To Influencing Others

6m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Influencing Others

Influence is one of the biggest abilities an individual can possess. We often hear about social media influencers and the companies that use these people to increase their sales, but what does influence really mean? The simple definition is the ability to have an effect on the behavior, actions, and viewpoint of another person. However, there’s so much more to influence.

The Importance of Influence

In the business world, the ability to influence others can accelerate your climb up the career ladder. For individuals who work in sales, influence is a vital factor in retaining their job. However, you have to know yourself and the impact you have on others to build influence.

Some people believe they can influence others when the reality is they bully them into doing what they want. Influence is about negotiating with people and providing valuable information as to why your ideas work. Whether you’re in the boardroom, out in the field or climbing the career ladder, building your influence levels is a valuable use of time.

Are You Influential?

It’s difficult to know if you’re an influential person, but there are certain behaviors influencers possess.

You Have Your Own Mind

Influential people don’t follow the latest fashion trends or celebrity culture. They have their own minds and aren’t afraid to step out of the box.

People Talk More Around You

When someone offers thought to provoke conversations, people will talk a lot more around you. Influential people inspire others to think about new ideas and opinions.

You Inspire Change

Influential people aren’t anarchists, but they will speak their minds when necessary. If things aren’t being done correctly, or there’s a better way, influential people aren’t afraid to put their opinions forward, regardless of their position in the company hierarchy.

You Make Connections

Networking is a vital aspect of business, and influencers know how to build lasting connections with others. People that build a reputation within their networks and offer constructive opinions and advice are more likely to influence others.

You Have Confidence

Influential people know that their opinions matter and have the confidence to speak up. While many people sit in a meeting and don’t question the boss, an influential person will know exactly what to say and how to say it.

You Seek Things Out

Some people wait for technology and innovations to find their email inbox, but influencers go and search for new ideas. They drive forward things to make an impact and stay ahead of others.

You Welcome Others Opinions

Dictators get aggressive when people question their decisions, but leaders welcome criticism and feedback from others. This level of humility enables influencers to connect with others and form a productive working environment.

Building Your Influence

Here are some tips to increase your influence at work.

Let Others Trust You

You can only influence others if they trust you and feel your intentions are good. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a higher position than them at work, because influence is about others following you regardless of the company hierarchy.

Think about political leaders and how they have immediate power at their disposal. However, the greatest leaders in the world are respected by their followers, not feared. You can’t influence others if they don’t trust you, so work on proving yourself to co-workers.

Be Consistent

Nobody likes someone who doesn’t follow through with what they say. Inconsistency isn’t a good trait to have, in both your personal and professional life. Think about a time when you’ve been let down. Did you trust that person again? Consistency is slow to build, but once you’ve succeeded, then people will always consider you to be someone they can turn to.


We all have opinions about how things should be done, but that doesn’t mean our way is the right way. Respect is a two-way process and individuals that accept others opinions are more likely to find compromises to difficult situations. It’s all about balancing flexibility with assertiveness.

While it’s important to be flexible, you have to stand your ground and be willing to defend your position. Influential people know how to both sell and mediate, so finding the right mix is essential to influencing others.

Be Human

When people address us by our name, it makes us feel valued. One tiny word makes a huge difference in how others view you. Bosses that treat their employees with respect are more likely to have a productive workforce. A simple conversation with someone makes you appear human, and employees will respect you for that.

Listen to Others

Dictators speak and tell people what to do, but leaders speak and listen to what others think. This is a huge part of having influence because people won’t trust you if you refuse to listen to their opinions. Encourage others to speak up and don’t be afraid to ask for their thoughts on your plans.

Key Take-Away

Remember, mutual trust and respect are the essential ingredients for building influence at work. Instead of focusing on how to get others to do what you want them to, think about how to build respect and strong professional relationships. Following these steps will increase your influence at work, but never confuse influence with power.

About This Influencing Others Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about influencing others from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

10 items | 50m read
7m read | Basics

What is Influence

I suggest the following definition of “influence” that encompasses all three points:

“Ability to cause reallocation of capitals.”

This definition refers to various types of capitals that exist in our society. These are primarily: financial, human, social and political capitals. They are exchangeable.

2m read | Basics

Sources of Influence in Your Life

Here is a snapshot of nine sources of influence that are affecting you every day. These sources are at the heart of your day-to-day choices, and have a far-reaching effect on how you live your life as well as whether you’re satisfied or frustrated with your life, overall.

5m read | Basics

The Influence of Role Models

By examining the influence of role models, role models in the community, and role models in the media, we will be able to determine the true effect that role models have on the lives of youth.

7m read | Basics

The Art of Influence

In some way shape or form, we all want to be influential. Whether our desired sphere of influence is merely our family and friends, or an entire market — to be able to influence is a valuable skill. But for as valuable as it is, it’s also highly misunderstood.

4m read | Basics

The Six Sources of Influence Model

The six sources of influence model is a powerful model for change. The Influencer Training is based on the book, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

12m watch | Basics

The Science Of Persuasion

This animated video describes the six universal Principles of Persuasion that have been scientifically proven to make you most effective as reported in Dr. Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, Influence. This video is narrated by Dr. Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin, CMCT.

1m read | Basics

The TOPS Formula

When you try to influence people, you are applying power in order to accomplish a goal. Your success depends on a number of factors, some of which you can control and others which you cannot. The ones you can control are shown in this formula:

T = your choice of influence technique

O = your organizational power sources

P = your personal power sources, including will power

S = the skill with which you use the influence technique

5m read | Basics

The Influence Skills

The research on power and influence shows that there are twenty-eight skills associated with influence effectiveness. These skills fall into four categories: communication and reasoning, assertiveness, interpersonal, and interactive.

4m read | Basics

Important Habits for Building Influence

If you want to find and lead your “tribe,” you are going to have to be intentional about the process. The first place to start is with building relationships. I’ve cultivated three important habits that have helped me do this.

3m read | Basics

How to Increase Your Social Influence

Social influence is something most business people want, but it’s not obtained simply through tweeting at the right times of day or buying the most followers. Instead, influenced is earned, little by little, through authentic sharing of information, tips and other items of interest to followers.

11 items | 74m read
6m read | Advanced

How To Make Friends And Influence People

Leaders like Warren Buffet swear by How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and the lessons of Carnegie have stood the test of time. They are classic principles in the best sense, and the fundamentals of this book are still applicable generations later. These principles do not revolve around trends or fads, they are just the building blocks of social intelligence, and how practicing good social skills can improve your life.

6m read | Advanced

Psychology Tricks You Can Use To Influence People

It’s important to note that none of these methods fall under what we would term the dark arts of influencing people. Anything that might be harmful to someone in any way, especially to their self esteem, is not included here. These are ways to win friends and influence people using psychology without being a jerk or making someone feel bad.

11m read | Advanced

Psychological Theories To Persuade People

What are we really talking about when we’re talking about conversions? Persuasion, right? Influence.

When we talk about conversions, we are, most of the time, discussing ways we can be more persuasive, more influential. We’re interested in meeting the needs of customers, fans, and followers and doing so in a way that truly speaks to them.

6m read | Advanced

Steps to Increase Your Influence

According to some estimates, the average person has the potential to influence some 80,000 people in their lifetime. 80,000! Even if we lean towards the far more conservative estimates of closer to 10,000, the figures are simply incredible. Some may argue they can’t possibly have that much sway in the lives of others, especially if they don’t hold a particularity influential position, but whether they know it or not they are influencing others every day.

5m read | Advanced

Ways to Motivate and Influence People

Who doesn’t want to be more influential? People who are influential can drive others to accomplish more and achieve goals, they can inspire action, effect change, and transform people and organizations. Influential people are powerful. They command attention and they garner respect. Being influential means that what you say and do matters, because it sets the tone for others who will strive to follow in your footsteps.

5m read | Advanced

Ways to Build Influence in the Workplace

No matter who you are, where you work, or what your professional goals are, achieving more influence in the workplace is critical for success. Gaining influence on a team can help you work together more effectively. Gaining influence in a supervisory position can make you more respected and appreciated. Gaining influence in a meeting can make your voice more likely to be heard and acknowledged.

5m read | Advanced

Personal Traits Will Accelerate Your Influence at Work

Everyone has a backstory. Unfortunately, most people feel that if they disclose it, it will weaken them. In fact, the reverse happens because all our stories overlap – and those parts that we share connect us.  Why do you think small groups and online communities have become so popular?  In today’s world, people want to connect with others in ways that matter equally to their hearts, and their heads.

4m read | Advanced

Types Of Social Influence

There are three types of social influence. Conformity involves a change in a person’s attitudes or behavior in response to (often implicit) pressure from others. Compliance involves going along with explicit requests made by others. Finally, obedience involves giving in to the commands of an authority.

12m read | Advanced

Why Social Influence Matters to Businesses

Social Media has forced businesses to reassess the definition of influence. Influencers are telling us what to do on a regular basis across the social sphere, but who is listening and how does it affect our behavior and buying decisions?

5m read | Advanced

The Pyramid of Influence on Social Media

The new pyramid of influencer marketing reflects both the adoption curve of the different social platforms and the type of content they consume, share or disseminate at each hierarchical level of the pyramid of needs. Each of the 5 levels of the hierarchical pyramid of Maslow’s needs (discovery, security, sharing, esteem, achievement) corresponds to one of the stages in the learning curve and adoption of social media. No one can escape from following and climbing each step of this pyramid of influencer marketing before claiming that they’re a social media influencer.

9m read | Advanced

Leadership, Influence & Relationships

You cannot be an effective leader without influence. Let me make this as simple as I can – if you’re a leader, influence needs to be a competency. The key to developing influence is understanding contacts and relationships are not synonymous. Don’t confuse a database with a sphere of influence.

8 items | 68m read
6m read | Expert

How Strong Are Your Influencing Skills?

This is your opportunity to learn some new influencing styles and to keep your team onside. Take this quiz to help you identify your strengths. Then, use our feedback to develop a range of approaches to use in different situations with different people.

2m read | Expert

Activities That Teach How to Influence

Influence is the ability to have an effect on and persuade other people and events, thereby gaining favorable outcomes. In business, influence is usually exerted for immediate or eventual commercial gain. The power to influence is an ability that predisposes some people to enter the world of business. Those new to business can benefit from games that help develop persuasive skills.

2m read | Expert

Persuasion Exercise

The ability to persuade people is a useful skill both in personal and professional life. This exercise is ideal once you have covered persuasion skills in your training course and want to go through a more demanding exercise that requires people to persuade each other strongly. It is an entertaining exercise as it involves everyone in a simple yet powerful setting.

7m read | Expert

How to Build Relationships With Influential People

We all want to build strong, long-lasting relationships with influential people—whether they’re CEOs, investors, advisors, or your personal heroes.

That’s why we go to conferences and networking events. That’s why we send emails and tweets. But there’s one part of this dance that people always forget: the follow-up.

15m watch | Expert

The Habits of The Highly Influential

Mass Influence is an innovative exploration into the key elements for influencing change by creating viral “wildfire word-of-mouth epidemics”. What is that “thing” that creates a leader so compelling and influential that the world turns when they speak? Mass Influence explores the identifiable habits and unspoken etiquette of the highly influential that are a mystery to most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, yet that anyone can obtain.

16m watch | Expert

Hear Yes! More Often With the Science of Influence

Accent the positive and encounter the “yes” of success. Dan Norris shares the power of positive responses as influencers, giving advise on how to use this highly effective technique in your own leadership, customer service applications, and day-to-day relationships.

10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Books About Influencing Others

Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others. Why would a group dismiss an option that would be more effective? Leadership and communications expert John Daly has a straightforward answer: it wasn’t sold to them as well. If the best idea is yours, how can you increase the chances that it gains the support of the group? In Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others, Daly explains in full detail how to transform ideas into practice.

How to Win Friends & Influence People. Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you: Six ways to make people like you, Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 Insights From Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick. In this exciting new book, Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath breaks fresh ground on the vital topic of influence. By combining cutting-edge brain research with proven behavioral science, Dr. Horvath outlines 12 scientific principles of how to impart knowledge in a way that truly sticks with and impacts others.

Influence Without Authority. Getting things done requires collaboration, and convincing others to contribute requires political skill; this book introduces the Exchange Model, in which you get what you need by offering something of value in return. The key lies in knowing what the other person values―that’s their “currency,” and it’s your immediate tool for coaxing their cooperation.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Courses About Influencing Others

Influencing People Course by the University of Michigan. This course will improve your ability to influence people in situations where you cannot use formal authority. You will learn about effective ways to build, develop, and sustain a power base in your organization. You will also learn influence tactics that enable you to be more persuasive and influential in working with your superiors, peers, and even subordinates.

Influencing Others Positively at Work and in Life. Influence and persuasion skills can be learned just like any other skill. And with this course, you will leverage practical tools and techniques to apply influence strategies, gain commitment from others, foster collaboration, and acquire the specific competencies, behaviors, and attitudes necessary to achieve desired results from others.

Leadership: How to Influence, Inspire and Impact as a Leader. You will be introduced to the various styles of leadership, learn about the effectiveness of each, and determine which style of leader you are. You will learn how to work with different levels of performers and how to inspire them to reach further success, how to effectively communicate and influence others to work towards your vision, and you’ll learn how to do it in a way that’s both informative and engaging.

Influence & Understand Others Using Listening Power Tools. This course will provide a clear picture of what listening for understanding looks like in the workplace.  Course participants will learn how to identify healthy communication, talk about it in specific terms, measure it, and collectively improve it.

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