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Getting Tuned In

One of the most important influence skills is the ability to understand the true motives and desires of others regardless of what is being said or done on the surface. This finding supports our notion of trusting your uneasy feeling in communications with others, since these feelings often signal manipulation attempts. But the most skilled influencers are able to understand and empathize with others, whether the underlying motives of the others are positive or negative. Skilled influencers are simply tuned in.

Skilled influencers also have a great deal of self-understanding. They know what their own goals are, they know what they are aiming for, and they are aware of their own strategies. Skilled influencers combine empathy and self-understanding with two other important elements: self-confidence and a desire for authority. The result is a person who is able to reconcile his or her motives with those of others in order to meet deadlines or to move toward a solution to problems that are either obvious and stated or subtle and unspoken.


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