88: The Go-Giver Influencer – How to expand your influence as a leader with Bob Burg

ep88 GoGiver Influencer How to expand your influence as a leader with Bob Burg on TalentGrow Show with Halelly Azulay

As leaders, our success is directly tied to our ability to influence others. But where is the line drawn between influence and manipulation? How can you develop and use your influence to create win-win outcomes that will benefit everyone involved? In this episode of The TalentGrow Show, author and keynote speaker Bob Burg returns to the show to discuss the principles behind his newest book, The Go-Giver Influencer. Listen to discover the five secrets of genuine influence and how to prevent or diffuse the problems that can result from poor communication. You’ll also learn simple yet effective techniques you can use to regulate your emotions and boost your influence as a leader. Plus, find out why Bob believes that the best way to get what you want is by focusing on the interests of others! Don’t forget to share this episode with aspiring leaders in your network.

About Bob Burg:

Bob Burg is a sought-after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences on topics at the core of the Go-Giver books. A former television personality and top-producing salesperson, Bob has shared the platform with some of today’s top business leaders, broadcast personalities, coaches, athletes, and political leaders, including a former U.S. president.

In addition to coauthoring the bestselling Go-Giver books with John David Mann, Bob has authored a number of popular books, including the critically acclaimed, Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales and Adversaries into Allies. His total book sales are well over a million copies.

The American Management Association named Bob one of the 30 Most Influential Leaders and he is one of Inc.’s 100 Great Leadership Speakers. Richtopia named him one of the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • What motivated Bob to write his latest book (5:27)
  • Halelly and Bob discuss the divisiveness that poor communication contributes to in our culture today (6:40)
  • How social media has contributed to the deterioration of good communication (7:15)
  • What most people get wrong when they try to influence others (9:34)
  • No one is going to hire you, keep you, or promote you because you need the money. They will only do these things if they believe that they will be better off by doing them (10:40)
  • Two things you need to do to boost your influence as a leader (11:03)
  • Halelly and Bob talk about compliance versus commitment (12:17)
  • Understanding the distinction between persuasion and manipulation (13:22)
  • The persuader always seeks to enhance the self-esteem and the position of the other person (15:52)
  • Bob gives us an overview of the five secrets of genuine influence (17:17)
  • A simple technique Bob recommends to regulate your emotions (19:11)
  • If you can control your own emotions, and help others work effectively within theirs, your influence will skyrocket (21:21)
  • Bob explains the second step that he encourages all leaders to take: step into the other person’s shoes (21:40)
  • So much conflict arises from two people seeing the same situation, the same facts, from two different viewpoints (22:18)
  • “Don’t just listen with your ears. Listen with your entire posture.” (23:00)
  • The third secret of genuine influence, and Bob’s explanation (plus a great example!) of the concept of a “frame” (23:47)
  • The importance of resetting negative frames (26:08)
  • Halelly brings Bob’s advice back into the workplace context (27:46)
  • Eight words that will usually move someone to your side of the issue (28:54)
  • Communicating with tact and empathy (30:16)
  • The fifth secret of genuine influence: letting go of having to be right (32:20)
  • “A true influencer is always in learning mode.” (33:42)
  • One specific action-item you can take today to move towards becoming a better influencer (34:10)

RESOURCES:

Transcript:

Episode 88 Bob Burg

TEASER CLIP: Bob: The difference between manipulation and persuasion begins with intent. But it doesn’t end there. Because while a manipulator may not want to necessarily hurt the other person, if that’s what it takes to get their way, they will. They’re totally “I” focused. It’s all about them. This is why a manipulator can have a company or they can have a leadership title, but they’ll never have a loyal team. A manipulator can make the sale but never have satisfied customers, and manipulator can have a family who they love and who loves them, but very rarely have a happy, functional family. With a persuader, that can never be the case, because for a persuader to feel good about the situation, they’ve got to know that not only is the other person benefiting, but that the other person feels legitimately and genuinely good about the situation as well.

[MUSIC] Announcer: Welcome to the TalentGrow Show, where you can get actionable results-oriented insight and advice on how to take your leadership, communication and people skills to the next level and become the kind of leader people want to follow. And now, your host and leadership development strategist, Halelly Azulay.

Halelly: Hey, hey, welcome back TalentGrowers. I’m so happy that you’re here. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow and this week I have another repeat guest. I haven’t had very many people who have been back to the show a second time, but Bob Burg is one of them. He was initially featured on episode 30 and I’m so glad he’s back. He’s got a new book and we’re going to talk about influence. This is a skill that everybody needs more of, and some people are just approaching it entirely the wrong way. So I hope that today will be very illuminating for you. We talk about the difference between influence and persuade and manipulate. We talk about the difference between commitment and compliance, and Bob shares with us a five-step framework for how to be a better influencer, a go giver influencer, according to the title of his book. I can’t wait for you to listen. Without further ado, here we go.

Bob, in his best-selling business parable The Go-Giver, which he wrote along with John David Mann, and also their follow-up, The Go-Giver Leader, challenged the conventional wisdom about success. Now these two are back with a new and equally compelling story, about the power of genuine influence that you can apply both at work and beyond, and in this new book, which is called The Go-Giver Influencer, a little story about the most persuasive idea. They have a paradox of how do you achieve what you want by focusing on the other person’s interests? They continue with the idea of presenting it in a parable, in a story, to help make it really tangible and easy to learn. So, this new book tackles that paradox and helps to teach us to influence others by focusing on them, but not in a self-sacrificial way, but rather in a way that creates benefit for all parties, which is of course my value system as well.

Bob Burg speaks all over the world on topics related to the go giver, as well as what he calls ultimate influence. He’s a really big deal on the speaking circuit and his total book sales number well over a million copies. That original book, The Go-Giver that he wrote with John David Mann, sold by itself over 700,000 copies and has spurred and international movement. If you are a regular listener of the TalentGrow Show you will remember that Bob was on episode 30, so if you haven’t heard that recently or ever, I hope that you will go check it out after this one. Bob, welcome back to the TalentGrow Show.

Bob: Thank you. Great to be back with you Halelly. Always a delight to speak with you.

Halelly: Thank you. I really appreciate you. It’s been a great pleasure to have you in my sphere and learn from you and I look forward to sharing your insights with our listeners, and because it’s been a while since that episode you did with me – and I don’t want to assume people have already heard it – we always start with a guest describing very briefly, maybe in two minutes, their professional journey. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today?

Bob: Sure, began in broadcasting. First in radio, then in television. And sort of morphed into sales. I really knew nothing about sales or selling and floundered for a while until I came across a couple of really good books, classic books by this time. This is of course almost 40 years ago now. And, within a matter of weeks or a month or so, my sales began to really, really do well. Which really taught me a lesson that if you have a system, a process for predictably achieving a goal, there really isn’t anything you can’t do. You just need to be able to follow the system and continue to do it, until you get the results. My sales began to climb, I began to really make a study of sales, personal development, communication and all the things that went along with it. And eventually worked my way up to sales manager of a company and from there began teaching other companies what was working for me. Went into the business, really, of speaking and writing and sharing information and have been doing that for quite a while now and it’s been a lot of fun.

Halelly: And you’ve been helping a lot of people. So thank you for writing so many books. What motivated you to write this one?

Bob: The newest one is the fourth one in the Go-Giver series, co-authored with John David Mann. It’s our third parable. One of them was more of an application-based book. We really felt the time was right. We felt that the way people have sort of devolved into really horrible communication with others, if you want to even call it communication. People now, and you see this so often on the internet, on social media, but you also see it at social functions and wherever. People who are not only disagreeing with one another – that’s fine. Disagreement helps us all to learn if we approach it correctly. But people are instead castigating others. They’re attacking others personally, with just vitriolic insulting type of words. And, while they’re doing this, what they’re not doing is they’re not influencing others. They’re not causing change. They’re not connecting with others in a beneficial way. And John and I really would like to, through this book, do our part in helping to sort of change that a little bit.

Halelly: I do see it. It’s actually very disturbing. I actually feel really distraught a lot of the time when I’m, especially on social media and noticing this, and I do see that it creates a huge amount of divisiveness in our culture. Do you think that something has changed in that we have diminishing influencing or our communication skills or is it the channels that are causing this problem? What do you think is making it like that?

Bob: I think now there’s a much bigger platform for people who maybe ordinarily didn’t have as much of a voice to now have a voice. And at the same time, there’s so much, especially when it’s online and it’s through social media, you can be a part of a conversation but you’re still kind of in a sense hiding behind a machine where nobody can reach out and grab you by the throat if they don’t like the insult you’ve hurled at them. And so I think that has a lot to do with it.

Halelly: A false sense of safety?

Bob: Yeah. And so as this has become accepted more and more, as disgusted as people are by it, it has still become quite acceptable to do it this way, and as such, that’s what people are doing. The marketplace is going to respond to what social pressure or social environment says that you can do. So you’ll see someone or you witness something on, let’s say, Facebook, where someone makes a statement – let’s say a political statement, whether about a person or about a policy – and someone will, rather than just disagree, they’ll say something like, “People like you are just the worst excuses for human beings. You’re trying to ruin this country or you don’t care about this or that.” Whatever it happens to be. Now, you notice the person who has just received this insult never comments back by saying, “Wow, thank you so much for pointing out the error of my ways. I thought I was right, but now that you’ve said it that way, I agree with you completely. And I renounce all of my beliefs.” No, of course not! The people who are watching, who are lurking as they say, listening in, they’re looking at this and just they know it’s pointless to try and reason out with anybody, so they just get into their whole insults back and forth.

That doesn’t have to happen. And you can be that influencer who knows how to respond to those kind of pointless, insulting comments, and you can be that person who is able to move others to a certain position.

Halelly: And in your book, through the parable, you’re sharing a set of five secrets or five principles for how to influence the right way, which I’d love to walk through. Before we do that, what do you think most people get wrong about how they approach influencing others, especially at work?

Bob: Just like the characters in the story, I think that they focus on their own needs, their own wants, their own desires, and this is very natural. It’s very human. We are self-interested creatures, self-interested beings. That’s human nature. But the people who are effective people, it’s not that they deny that self interest, just as though they don’t deny human nature. But what they’re able to do is set it temporarily to the side. Like when you walk into a movie, we call it the willing suspension of disbelief. You know it’s just a movie, just a story. You see the same characters up there that you’ve seen in other stories and so forth, but in order to enjoy it, in order to feel the feelings of the story and feel the emotions of the story, we suspend our disbelief willingly while we watch the movie. It’s the same thing we need to do when we’re dealing with others. Let’s say in the company or corporate context. No one is going to hire you because you need the money. They’re not going to keep you because you need the money. They’re not going to promote you because you really think you’re doing a great job. They’re going to hire you, they’re going to keep you, they’re going to promote you, because they believe that they will be better off by doing so than by not doing so. So, as a person who is headed toward a leadership position, you’re on your way, well, you really have to do two things. One, you have to keep in mind your ultimate client, which is your employer. And, those who you answer to. But, those people you’re leading, if you want them to do the best possible job they can do, you’ve got to approach it from their point of view. You’ve got to be asking yourself questions such as, “How does what I’m asking them to do, how does it align with their goals? How does it align with their needs, their wants, their desires? How is what I’m asking this other person or these other people to do, how does it align with their values?” And when you ask yourself these questions thoughtfully, intelligently, genuinely, authentically, not as a way to manipulate another person into doing your will – no, not at all – but as a way to build and advance everyone in the process, now you’ve come a lot closer to earning their commitment as opposed to trying to depend on some type of compliance. Which at best is unsustainable.

Halelly: Yeah. Totally. Actually one of the most watched videos I have is compliance versus commitment, because this is a concept I try to hone in on. So often people focus on otherwise, do this or else, like the parents – “because I’m the mom and I said so, or else!” – but that never really makes people feel excited to do something. It just makes them either afraid or complacent or both. And they’ll give you minimal effort just to get you off their back.

Bob: Exactly. At best, they’ll do exactly what they’re told to do, which may not even be the best thing to do. But they’ll do just what they’re told. At worst, they’ll find a way to sabotage the process completely, whether consciously or unconsciously. And I’ll often ask my audiences if they’ve ever witnessed that all-too-common element of human nature, and everybody kind of nods their heads and laughs, and I say, “Have you ever participated in that all-too-common element of human nature?” And everyone laughs. Because we’ve all done that as well.

Halelly: Eventually somebody will push us into that mode. They’ll just get us so annoyed that we’ll do that. So, you said the word manipulate earlier and I just wanted to follow up on that because I know that for some people, they relate influence and manipulate and persuade – we have different words – and to me, they definitely have different connotations. I think manipulate is definitely a negative thing where to me, persuade and influence don’t have as much of a negative connotation, but I know that some people, to them, it’s all the same and it’s all icky. What is the distinction you see and how can we help people feel good about wanting to influence, especially as they’re reframing their argument just from their own perspective to the other person’s, without feeling like they’re doing something dirty?

Bob: Let’s look first at the word influence, because that’s actually the highest word on the totem pole, so to speak. You’ve got influence, what does it mean? On a very, very basic level, influence is simply the ability to move a person or persons to a desired action. Usually within the context of a specific goal. Influence itself is neither good nor bad, it just is. It’s a universal principle, such as gravity would be similar in the physical realm. Gravity works. It’s a thing. In our earthly existence, gravity works whether you want it to or not. Now, is gravity good? It depends. It’s good when it keeps us from floating aimlessly into space. It’s bad when we fall off a seven-story building. So, gravity just is. Influence just is. It’s being able to effectively move people. Now, you can influence one of two basic ways, through manipulation – which as you said is very much a negative. That’s force. It’s compliance. It’s fraud, it’s intimidation, manipulation. Or, you could persuade. Persuading is benevolent, because both parties must win when you persuade.

So, probably the best explanation I ever read of this was in a book actually published way back in 1987, written by Paul W. Swets, called The Art of Talking so that People Will Listen, but it was much more about listening than it was about talking. But, I love what he said. He wrote that manipulation aims at control, not cooperation. It does not consider the good of the other party. It results in a win-lose situation. In direct contrast to the manipulator, he wrote, the persuader always seeks to enhance the self-esteem and the position of the other person. The result is that people respond better because they’re treated as responsible, self-directing individuals. You know, Halelly, I’ve got to tell you, the difference between manipulation and persuasion begins with intent. But it doesn’t end there. Because while a manipulator may not want to necessarily hurt the other person, if that’s what it takes to get their way, they will. They’re totally “I” focused. It’s all about them. This is why a manipulator can have a company or they can have a leadership title, but they’ll never have a loyal team. A manipulator can make the sale but never have satisfied customers, and manipulator can have a family who they love and who loves them, but very rarely have a happy, functional family. With a persuader, that can never be the case, because for a persuader to feel good about the situation, they’ve got to know that not only is the other person benefiting, but that the other person feels legitimately and genuinely good about the situation as well.

Halelly: I love that you use the word benevolent. That’s the key, right? So how do you leave people, what is your intention and the impact?

Bob: Exactly, yes.

Halelly: Let’s talk about the five secrets. Tell us briefly. Of course we’ll link to your book in the show notes and I hope that listeners go and grab a copy so that they can dive deeper into these. But give us an overview.

Bob: Sure. It begins with, number one is master your emotions. This is where it all begins. The Sage is asked, “Who is mighty?” And answers, “That person who can control their own emotions and make of an enemy a friend.” It’s only when we’re in control of ourselves and control of our emotions that we’re even in a position to take a potentially negative situation or person and turn it into a win for everyone involved. But we are, as human beings, emotional creatures. So it’s not always so easy when someone says or does things that normally push our buttons, and we know that this could happen. It’s still not always so easy to just control ourselves and control our emotions. So we get defensive or we blow up in anger or we say or do something that we immediately regret, but we do it because we’re human. And so what we need to do is not forgo our emotions, not deny our emotions. First, that would not be logical to do that, because we are emotional creatures. No, we simply need to master our emotions as opposed to our emotions mastering us, or as my great friend and a mentor of mine Dondi Scumaci puts it, by all means, take your emotions along for the ride, but make sure you are driving the car. While we need to take counsel of our emotions because they’ve give us good clues, our decisions need to be from a logical base if our goal is to create the environment where our decisions typically lead to better results.

Halelly: And there’s so much science out there about how to regulate your emotions, which can help folks.

Bob: And one thing you can do is you can actually practice. The easiest way to do it, this is simple and it’s easy, is to picture in your mind’s eye the situation that might come up. For example, this person at work who you have to deal with who just manages to say or do things that just aggravate you and there is really no reason is has to. But it does. And I want you to picture this happening and the feeling you usually get, which is kind of yucky, but now I want you to picture it but now I want you to also picture yourself also handling it beautifully. You’re simply responding, defaulting into calm. It’s not upsetting you. You’re handling it in a beautiful way where you say the exact right thing at the right time and the words come later – we’ll get into that – but I want you to see yourself doing it and feeling what that feels like. I want you to take pleasure in how that feels, because you were able to control your emotions and that’s important. But here’s the thing, it’s not just imaging it once. Like an astronaut, like before they go into space, he or she will run hundreds of simulated missions, so that by the time they get up there into space, when something happens, they’ve been there and done that and know exactly what to do because they’ve already experienced it. We know that the subconscious mind can’t differentiate between what has really happened and what has been suggested to it, over and over again. You can actually retrain your brain to be able to respond wonderfully and elegantly and calmly, and you’re going to feel much better about yourself.

This is something I had to do about 25 years ago, because I had real anger issues. The way I was reacting to people and to situations was very counterproductive for everyone involved. Not only is doing this work for me – and by the way, it takes a very short period of time to really see the results – it’s worked for countless people who I’ve shown how to do the same thing. But it will make such a significant difference in your life. When you can control your own emotions and help others to work effectively within theirs, now your influence is about to skyrocket.

Halelly: Excellent. So visualize, and master. Visualize your success and then practice mastering it. So that’s step one.

Bob: Yeah. The second one is to step into the other person’s shoes. Now, this sounds easy, until you realize that most people have different sized feet. In other words, we all come from different ways of looking at the world, different what I call belief systems. A belief is a subjective truth. It’s the way we see the world, which means it may be the truth, but it’s probably more our truth. And we all as human beings, we all tend to believe that most people see the world basically the same way we do, which only makes sense. How else could it be? However, it’s not the case. People see things differently and so much conflict comes from two or more people seeing basically the same situation, the same fact, from different viewpoints. So, when we say step into the other person’s shoes, how do you do it if your shoe size is different? You ask questions. You ask questions that help to discover what this person needs, wants, desires. What are their issues, their challenges? What are their solutions they need to take action? And what we do is we ask questions and we listen, but as one of the mentors tells his protégé – because there are two protégés and two mentors in the story – one of them, George, tells Jillian, the protégé, don’t just listen with your ears. Listen with your entire posture. Listen, he says, with the back of your neck. What this really means is you listen with your entire being. Not to hear the answer so that you can come up with something. It’s simply to listen, to learn, to understand and be able to get a sense of what this person needs from you.

Halelly: And they say that you have a hard time holding both judgment and curiosity at the same time, so if you move into a posture of curiosity, truly seeking to understand them, you’re going to be less likely to see just what’s wrong with it, but rather be able to understand it.

Bob: That’s a great point. A wonderful point. The third secret – and of course these are not really secrets – is to set the frame, or reset and an already set negative frame. Here’s what I mean, and by the way, this is so important, because it’s all in the frame. When the proper frame is set, you’re 80 to 90 percent there to the results you want in a way that’s beneficial to everyone concerned. What is a frame? Well, a frame is simply the foundation from which everything else evolves. Probably my favorite story of a magnificent frame was when I was sitting in a Dunkin Donuts restaurant one day, drinking coffee and reading. In the store was a little boy, he was probably two or two and a half years old, little toddler, and he was running around the restaurant and his parents called him back over to their table. So he starts to walk over and suddenly he takes a spill on the floor. He slips and falls. Now, he didn’t hurt himself, you could tell, but you could also tell by the look on his face he was shocked. He was totally surprised. And so what’s the first thing he did? He looked at the two people in the world he trusts the most, his mom and dad, to get their determination, right? Their interpretation, if you will, of the event. What happened, happened. He wanted to know, “What’s next, mom and dad?” I truly believe, Halelly, that had they gotten panicky and upset and run over and, “Oh no, are you okay?” I’m sure he would have started to cry. But what they did is handled it so beautifully. They walked over calmly, they had smiles on their faces, they applauded and they laughed and said, “Oh, that looks like so much fun. What a great trick.” And immediately he began to laugh. What the parents did is they set a productive frame from which he could operate.

We can do the same thing when we’re dealing with someone who maybe we’re meeting for the first time, someone in another department who we need to get them to help us when they don’t necessarily have to or talking to our boss or superior or talking with someone on our team. The big thing, also, is understanding that we have to reset negative frames. I think of the time I was pulling my car into a parking space and I was not paying attention as I should have and I nearly clipped a guy as he was getting out of the driver’s side of his car. I stopped in plenty of time, but he was startled, he was taken aback, he was shocked. Mainly he was ticked, and he shot me the nastiest look you can imagine. I mean, if looks could kill. Let’s just say his face was covered with ugly. That’s okay, that’s how certain people react to stimuli in a certain way, and that’s what he did. Again, it was my fault. That was a frame of anger, it was a frame of hostility, and so had I bought into that frame, now you have a potential situation or it could have been … “What are you looking at? Watch where you’re going.” “You watch where you’re going!” And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen those situations turn out well. I don’t want to be involved in anything like that if I don’t have to be. What I did is, rather than buying into his frame, I reset the frame. I put my hand up in the air like a friendly wave through the windshield, I put a smile, a friendly apology on my face, and through the windshield I went, “Sorry!” And he immediately went, “No problem.” And that was it. That’s taking, turning a would-be adversary into an ally. It’s as simple as being able to reset the frame.

Halelly: So let’s quickly concretize that for, let’s say that example where you’re about to go talk to someone from another department. You’re going to ask them for help that is not aligned with their goals or their timeline. What is it, specifically, that you would do to implement this advice?

Bob: Just saying something such as, “Dave or Mary, I want to ask you if you could give me some help with something. It’s certainly not something that you have any obligation to do or that I even expect you need to do. If it’s something you can, I would certainly appreciate it. If not, I’ll totally understand.” You’re doing it in a way that you’re giving them the out, coming in with humility, letting them know that while you would really appreciate their help, it’s certainly not something they’re obligated to do. So you’ve lessened their defensiveness.

Halelly: Got it. So you’re showing them that you recognize that you’re making a request, that they are not obligated to conform with, rather than coming in and giving them a command or giving them an opportunity to even imagine that that’s your intention.

Bob: I have eight words that will usually move someone to your side of the issue, providing that you’ve set it up correctly with politeness and patience. That’s simply to say, “If you can’t do it, I’ll definitely understand.” Then you wait a few months and follow that up with, “If you could, I would certainly appreciate it.” But again, when you go in and set the frame by letting them know that you have something to ask that would be very helpful, but please understand that I know this is certainly not something you’re obligated to do, you’ve now set the frame where they’re much more likely to want to see how they can possibly help you.

Halelly: There’s actually science that shows that people are very likely to try and prove to you that they’re not as disagreeable as you assume maybe they will be, once you set it up in that positive kind of way. They actually want to make you wrong about that.

Bob: Most people are decent people. I mean, you’ve always got those on both sides – some are just extraordinarily wonderful and some are downright nasty. But most people are somewhere in the middle. And most people, if they can help you, they will. But, they’re not going to do it if they feel put down, especially if they don’t have to. Remember, the ego really rules. And you’re always having to acknowledge that another person’s ego is often running their program.

Halelly: That’s a good link to the fourth step, right? Communicate with tact and empathy. Tell us more about that.

Bob: You know, my dad has always defined tact as the language of strength. I’ve always loved that definition because to me, what that means is, there are times that we know we’ve got to communicate something to someone that may not be the most pleasant thing. We may have to correct, we may have to critique, we may have to constructively criticize. We don’t want to do any of those things, but that’s the real world. And I think what tact allows us to do is communicate that message in such a way that not only is the person not defensive toward us and resistant to our ideas as a result, but they’re more open to us and potentially accepting of our ideas. Tact is really a matter of thinking to yourself, “How is what I’m about to say going to affect that person? How is it going to rub their ego? Is it going to make them feel badly? Is it going to make them feel defensive?” When we can do that, and we do it consciously, that’s a difference maker. It’s a huge difference maker between those people who maybe attain a relative level of success and those people who attain extraordinary levels of success and achievement and seem to have the world just kind of eating out of his or her hands. They understand how important tact and empathy are in dealing with another human being.

Halelly: Because you’re helping to protect their feelings, and you gain nothing, in terms of your own ability to be influential, you gain nothing by setting up someone into a defensive posture. How does that help you influence them, and does it?

Bob: Exactly. It’s like the person on social media. It just doesn’t do, and you insult someone for having a certain point of view, it does not influence them and it does not influence the others that are listening in.

Halelly: No return on investment, so don’t waste your time. All right, we’re almost out of time, so let’s talk about step five and then we’ll move into a couple of questions I always ask at the end.

Bob: Well, step number five is to let go of having to be right. This is the paradoxical one, we usually use as our fifth law in our parables. It’s that one that sort of seems opposite but then when you drive deeper you see what it really is. When we say let go of having to be right, we don’t mean that you don’t care about being right or that you don’t want to be right or you’re going to give up. No, that’s not what it is at all. It simply means you lose the emotional attachment to having to be right. What this does, see, that sounds like it’ll make you less influential – it actually makes you more influential for two reasons. One, when you let go of the attachment of having to be right, you go into what we call learner’s mode. So rather than falling victim to confirmation bias, which is just exactly what it says, that if you hear or see something that confirms your already held beliefs or biases, then you accept it, or, if it’s something contrary to your already held beliefs, you ignore it. Well, you can’t have the necessary knowledge doing that. That’s the, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts” attitude that so many have. No, a true influencer is always in learning mode, so they can tell, they can learn more and be more equipped to actually have the information that allows them to be successful. But what it also does is the other person senses that you are not just trying to win at all costs. But instead, you’re seeking truth. Because of that, they are also much more likely to go into that same mode.

Halelly: So Bob, before we share with folks how to stay in touch with you, what’s one really specific action that listeners can take today, tomorrow, this week, to help them move toward becoming a better influencer?

Bob: In any situation you’re in with another person, start asking yourself, “What does this person want or need?” Now, you don’t necessarily know. You can intuit, maybe based on certain things, but always remember if you don’t know, you can ask.

Halelly: Great. Good, ask yourself and maybe even ask them if you have a relationship.

Bob: Exactly.

Halelly: That’ll give you the muscle to begin to be better at knowing what other people want, and also showing people that you want to know what they want. Love it!

Bob: Good point.

Halelly: Thank you Bob, I appreciate that. So how can people stay in touch with you? Where should they learn more from you? Where do you want them to go?

Bob: They can visit thegogiver.com, and just click on the graphic of the book, the purple-colored book. That is the Go-Giver Influencer, and when you click on it, it’ll take you to a page where you can get the first two chapters to see if you like it, and then from there you can always click through to purchase if you’d like.

Halelly: Nice. And I know you hang out on social media – lately you’ve been doing Facebook Live and things like that. What’s the best way to find you on social media?

Bob: You know, all my social media URLs are right on the site, at thegogiver.com, so find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, wherever you like and I’d be happy to connect with you.

Halelly: Awesome. Of course we’ll link to that in the show notes. You are a very busy guy on a book tour, so I appreciate that you stopped by the TalentGrow Show to share some of your insights with our listeners, Bob. Thank you so much.

Bob: Thank you. I always love speaking with you. Thank you so much.

Halelly: Let me know what you thought about this episode. Always communicate with me about any requests, questions, comments, feedback – I’m so eager to hear from you. You can leave me a voicemail on the website from any device, just click on that little black tab on the right side that pops up and leave me a voice message or you can email to me, you can make a comment on the show notes page. By the way, all the resources and links and everything we mentioned are on the resource show notes page, which is over at TalentGrow.com/podcast/episode88. Thank you so much for listening. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow, and until the next time, make today great.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the TalentGrow Show, where we help you develop your talent to become the kind of leader that people want to follow. For more information, visit TalentGrow.com.


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