I watched a YouTube video years ago (probably 2011) in which a Penn State professor talked about power and how to influence people. It lit me up. I found myself coming back to it, over and over. The speaker is Charles Dwyer (I exchanged a few emails with him at one point). Since then I must have shared that video a hundred times. On a whim, I searched for him on Amazon and discovered that he’d written a book in 1992. I had to hunt it down and read it. I think it’s worth sharing with you here…
Notes from reading and listening to Charles E Dwyer.
- It’s your unwillingness to do what works, that’s the first thing to face up to when influencing behaviour. When influencing people you take 100% responsibility because taking full responsibility for your outcomes gives you power over them.
- Values drive behaviours through perceptions. You sell whatever is important to them, that they feel will be taken care of best if they give their money to you. It’s very important to understand what’s important to them because values drive all behaviours.
- Get very clear about what behaviours you want and be specific. Focus on behaviours and performances (observable, measurable, quantifiable). Avoid squishy subjective terms and get rid of false imperatives (i.e don’t create a duty and fail to specify who has the duty and what the consequences of failure are).
- You do not need agreement on ends, to get cooperation on means. Don’t try to persuade people “we’re all in it together” or “we all believe the same thing” because we aren’t and we don’t (and that’s fine). Instead, put something in front of people that’s important to them and tie it to what you want them to do. Different people are motivated to do things for different reasons. Take your approach and hone it down to a series of individuals or small groups who do have something in common in their values that they want to be served.
And, I’ve dug out the video for you.