Dale Carnegie.  Self improvement icon who believed in the power of influence and persuasion. His beliefs spurred the Dale Carnegie Course which started in 1912 and spans 75 countries.  Nearly 10 million “power seekers” have completed this training.  Carnegie was also a well-known and respected, lecturer, best-selling author (How to Win Friends and Influence People amongst many others), and corporate trainer.  Over the years Carnegie has also been known for his influential and inspirational quotes, such as "Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get" as well as "When fate hands you lemons, make lemonade."  For more quotes, visit

Executive Coach. Typically an experienced, certified individual that specializes in helping CEOs, executives, and top level directors reach their fullest level of professional success. The executive coach will emphasize the core drivers and fundamental philosophies to help an individual be a strong leader, creative and strategic thinker, and ultimately an influential business person.

Goal Setting. Techniques for helping people achieve what they want in life, whether personally or professionally, but setting up defined goals, action items, and timeline for completion.

Influence. A social, physiological, spiritual or physical belief or action that can affect an individual person, group of people, idea, action, behavior, outcome, or attitude.

Intimidation. To make timid or fearful; to frighten;  to discourage or suppress by threats or by violence.  Intimidation works by playing off the fear of others – this is not a quality shared with influence.  Using fear to strong-arm others into doing something isn’t influence, it’s just plain bullying.

Influence involves a certain amount of subtlety.  Ideally, the person you are trying to influence won’t know that you are using your power to sway their opinions – they may even think that they came up with the idea themselves.  This is the goal of influence.

However, there’s nothing subtle about inducing fear or playing a game of mental intimidation with another.  The person who is subject to intimidation isn’t acting under the subtlety of influence – like an animal in flight; they are trying to avoid a harmful, hurtful, or fearful situation.  When you’re an intimidating bully, you’ll probably get your way most of the time, but only because people are afraid to stand up to you.  But, if you use influence, you’ll get what you want because people listen to and respect you and your opinions.

Life Coach. Typically an experienced, certified individual that specializes in helping most anyone get virtually any facet of their life in order.  Some techniques include personal and professional goal setting as well as working on the strategies to obtain those goals and as well as a time line in which to achieve them.  Many people find added value from a life coach … the viewpoint as an unbiased, “external” professional who is providing customized solutions for overall life improvement.

Manipulation.  To handle or manage deviously for one’s own profit.  Influence is not manipulation because manipulation derives its power from one key factor:  deviousness, or selfish underhandedness.  Ideally, influence should play a positive role in achieving a goal from a position of integrity.

But, there is no integrity in manipulation.  Manipulation is nothing more than coercion – whether it be blackmail or dubious interactions with others – that comes not from a place of integrity, but from a selfish, dark drive for power.

Although it does occur regularly, there is no place for manipulation in the professional workplace.  While influence can be used in both positive and negative ways, manipulation is always a negative experience.

Negotiation. To confer with another person to reach an agreement.  Negotiation is a regular occurrence in daily life, and we all know a little about it.  We negotiate our salaries, we haggle when buying new cars, we compromise when making business deals, or even when getting a divorce.  Negotiating is when two people find a happy (or at least tolerable) medium between what they both want.

The difference between negotiation and influence is clear:  With negotiation, you only get part of what you want, but when using influence, you get exactly what you want.  Here are a few myths about influence;

“The faster and louder you talk the more influential you are.”

“A positive message is more persuasive than a negative one.”

“Control the situation and you will control the person.”

“The color red will motivate people to do what you want.”

Personal Development. The process of individual improvement. Focused on enhancing self-awareness, improving knowledge, strengthening identity, refining talents, recognizing and leveraging talents, capitalizing on one’s marketability (as in terms of employment), enhancing quality of life, achieving aspirations, and creating and taking action on self-improvement plans.

Persuasion. Persuasion is a form of influence that can be applied to an individual person, group of people, idea, action, outcome, or attitude. To cause, to convince, or to believe by means of reasoning or argument. Many successful business leaders practice developing their persuasion strategies in a variety of industries including: politics (lobbyists), business, teaching, marketing, and sales.  In his book, Influence: Science and Practice, author Robert Cialdini refers to persuasion as a "weapon of influence”.

We can see exactly how influence is not related to persuasion – the key words here are by means of reasoning or argument.  When using influence, there is no back-and-forth discussion taking place.  Influence is often silent, while persuasion is verbal.

For instance, imagine a conversation with your boss in which you would like him to do something for you – like pay for that trip to Japan for an international conference.  To persuade him, you would most likely have to talk over the benefits of you going to the conference – and not just the benefits to the business, but also the benefits to him, such as getting more recognition by having highly-trained, highly-specialized staff members.  After some persuasive arguing, your boss may finally agree to let you go.  This approach is similar to sales, offering a cost-benefit analysis to your boss.

Influence, however, works much differently.  Suppose you ask your boss the same question and, after a brief pause, he says yes automatically.  This is the power of influence – the timing of your question, your past interactions with him, your work history, your trustworthiness.  Perhaps you’ve been priming your boss for weeks or months – sending him articles about how the Japanese are at the forefront of your technology, and discussing with him the need for your company to participate in industry events.  Influence is not who or what you are, but a conglomerate of interactions and qualities that you have built up over time with a certain person.

The 5 Drivers of Success. Developed by Dale Carnegie (see Dale Carnegie).  Improving these “drivers” will help individuals achieve the foundation needed to achieve a lifetime of personal and professional success as well as performance improvement.  The 5 Drivers of Success are: Build Greater Self-Confidence,  Strengthen People Skills, Enhance Communication Skills, Develop Leadership Skills, and Reduce Stress and Improve our Attitude