"Look for ways to connect your influence objectives to strategic priorities or high-level goals. You'll add persuasive force to your argument and also add strength to your professional standing."

The art of influencing. The ability to influence and inspire others to take positive action is critical to success, and a win-win outcome. This skill is so important on all fronts, both professionally and personally, as we need and use it everyday.

There are so many practical tips and strategies on how to make influencing work in John Ullmen’s course on Influencing Others that I wish I came across this material earlier. Well, better late than never, and you’re definitely in for a treat!

John Ullmen kickstarted his course with a positive influence tool he designed based on his research. Let’s start the ball rolling!

Pick someone who’s had significant positive influence on you, and answer the following 4 questions:

  1. Who is this very special person in your life and why do you choose them as one of your biggest positive influencers
  2. What specifically did they say or do that you found so meaningful
  3. What are the results of their actions on you and your life
  4. Going forward, what are some things you can do for yourself and for others to honor this person’s contribution to you? What would make these people who are so meaningful to you most proud of you?

Let that sink in. Would you like to pay it forward and be the positive influence for others too? Let’s start with building rapport and being likeable. I definitely wish I’ve heard these questions before a recent interview.

a. Listen Pay them the respect of paying attention
b. Get to know your counterpart Build rapport proactively
c. Find out their goals What would make a great outcome for them
d. State your positive intent early Connect your positive intent to shared values, principles or broader goals
e. Give explicit credit to them for positive intent Question: “I think I’m understanding the positive intent you have in bringing this up. <Their Intent> Is that right?”
a. Have the right mindset Say to yourself “I’m happy to be here and I’m happy to see you.”
b. Seek and highlight similarities Look for authentic ways to use inclusive terms like we, us, and our to reinforce the connection.
c. Seek and highlight positive qualities Be genuine. Consider highlighting it as a question.
d. Give credit to relevant qualities Bring desired quality to the front of their mind

Are you open minded and open hearted to being influenceable, with the right mindset and awareness to turn objections into actions for the long term?

  1. Don’t win arguments. Win hearts and minds. Arguments trigger peoples’ urge to defend themselves, turning the situation to more about winning and losing
  2. Acknowledge others’ positive effects on you. Use a confident tone:
    a. Thank you. I hadn’t looked at it that way before
    b. I appreciate how you’re challenging me on this
  3. Share your improvement efforts – Own it and declare with confidence




  1. Don’t resist resistance, don’t object to objections.
  2. Objections are clues. Get motivated by them.
  3. Lessons from Giselle Chapman’s persistence
    a. Pursue objections
    b. Don’t take objections personally
    c. Translate objections into an action plan
    d. Turn “No” (Rejection) into “Know” (Knowledge) into Power
  1. Think about long term implications, even in short term actions
  2. Strengthen relationships and reputation to build a bridge between short and long term actions.
  3. Questions to think about:
    a. How can I strive to build relationships and create a basis for a positive reputation in this interaction?
    b. If what I’m about to say or do were being recorded, would I be proud to have others, who’s opinions matter to me, see the recording?
    c. Did I conduct myself with integrity, clarity, and respect?
    d. Did my presence leave others better off after dealing with me than they were before?
    e. Do I need to follow up on any misunderstandings, mistakes, or missed opportunities?

John also shared 10 techniques on how to influence. Do you find some of them familiar? Had you ever been influenced by one of these techniques?

Keep your ideas simple, specific and surprising

a. Express in a few words the core message or top persuasive priority you’re trying to accomplish
b. Use concrete details to bring concepts and numbers alive
c. Look for ways to make your message or insights attention-getting or unexpected in a relevant way

Cite credible sources. You credit others while adding significant persuasive force to your approach.

a. Determine the top experts, and find their work
b. Find research results from leading institutions on the topic
c. Choose the most relevant data to your audience

Establish urgency or scarcity

a. Convey the limited time to act
b. Provide a reason for the time limit
c. Use loss framing to clarify what your audience will lose/miss if they fail to take action

Pain and gain framing

a. People are more motivated to avoid a loss than seek a gain
b. Determine the problems prevented and rewards achieved that’re most relevant to your audience

Compare and contrast

a. Show how 2 different things are actually alike
b. Draw sharp distinctions between preferred and nonpreferred choices
c. Provide good news AFTER bad news
d. Shift attention to the silver lining

Encourage commitments and consistency

a. Increase commitment by making them Public, requires taking Active action, and keeping it Voluntary
b. Secure commitments by giving positive, relevant encouragement and asking for small commitments 1st. Solicit specific details on when and where and build momentum on the progress.

Influence through request for help or advice

a. Ask for support in ways that reinforce the respect you have for them
b. Make it simple
c. Make it easy to say Yes (little time or effort)
d. Express genuine gratitude afterwards

Connect to strategy or high-level goals

a. Learn top strategies and priorities beyond your level
b. Demonstrate positive attention to duties beyond role
c. Frame your proposal as advancing the larger strategy

Social proof

a. Point out supportive trends, supported by data
b. Share relevant success stories
c. Beware of negative social proof


a. Offer value, before you ask
b. Construct high-reciprocity favors with the qualities of: Personalized, Meaningful, and Unexpected

Last but not least, make gratitude a habit. Practice the Power Thank-You Method genuinely and often:
a. Thank someone for a specific act
b. Acknowledge their thought and effort
c. Express the difference they made in your life as a result

Thank you very much for visiting my blog. I know your time is precious, and you have a lot of things to do. So, I appreciate the time you’ve invested in reading this post. This encourages me to keep writing and sharing. Going forward, I will continue to create content to share with you. Let’s have fun and grow together. Thank you!

"It's not just a way to get things done. It's a way to be as a person, a parent, a spouse, a friend or a manager, a coworker, a leader. It's not an obligation. It's a motivation. Inspiration based influence lasts a lifetime. It's the gift that keeps on giving."