Persuasion Comfort via Karen AND Dale Carnegie

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

It’s important to be aware of your comfort or discomfort with persuasion.

Find out how fear plays a role in your influencing or persuasive behavior.

Here’s a quick self-exam. Just as we do an external exam it is equally important to do an internal exam. Read these statements. Be as honest as you can (nobody will see your answers – only you!)

Please answer Yes or No to the following:
1. I second guess myself more than 2 times every day.
2. When ordering a meal at a café I hesitate because of what others will say.
3. I feel totally confident in all my decisions to influence someone.
4. I listen to and act on others’ attempts to influence me.
5. I always consider how my actions will affect others.
6. I am usually the first person to answer yes to requests.
7. I tend to disregard or question my ideas.
8. I research thoroughly any risks or changes I make.
9. There is someone in my life I constantly try to please.
10. I tend to avoid uncertain or uncomfortable situations.

If you answered yes to more than three statements – don’t worry. There’s a simple recipe you can use to get over your fear, especially a fear that exists in your unconscious.

Go through the fear. Sounds silly but it’s necessary. Anticipation is the most painful part of dealing with fear bringing us to a halt when we are afraid. When we see what happens as we push the boundaries – the fear gets worse. The best way to squash this fear is to let the part of us that keeps it alive die. Not literally. Seriously, we need to get rid of what is standing in our way – the part that tricks us into believing we cannot survive without buying into this fear.

So, what does Dale Carnegie say about influence?

Mr. Carnegie pays great respect to people who understand and practice the art of dealing with people. He praises people who understand and practice the art of dealing with themselves, i.e., their fear. You see, Dale Carnegie was a great believer in the power of influence and persuasion, not only in using it with others, but also with ourselves.

Mr. Carnegie, in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, talks about “The Secret of Socrates.” It is the idea that when you talk with people don’t start with what you differ on. Rather begin with what you agree on. Continue the conversation with all the things you agree on. This is about the psychology of encouraging the other person to get in the habit of agreeing with you.

Well, this applies to the internal conversation you have with yourself. When you find circumstances where your intuition speaks to you, wanting you to influence or persuade the situation and at the same time your voice of uncertainty wakes up remember what Mr. Carnegie said. Get the other person, i.e., your voice of uncertainty, to agree. Take the necessary steps to be skillful at getting a high number of “Yes” responses from your voice of uncertainty (fear).

Don’t provoke your voice of uncertainty. Acknowledge your voice of uncertainty. Start at a point where your intuition and voice of uncertainty can both agree. Then move this voice into agreement with your intuition. Tell your voice all the reasons for and benefits of agreeing with your intuition.

Dale Carnegie was instrumental in showing people how to influence – but it was an outward influence. Now, it is up to us to use these techniques as an inward influence.

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