Learning How To Influence People

David Trammel's picture

Being a Green Wizard is much more than just knowing how to grow good tomatoes or sew up a skirt. Its more than just knowing how to insulate your home or use the Sun to heat up some water. Its also about using the knowledge we gain in learning the simple things, for the betterment of our Family, our Friends and our Community.

You will have to learn the "Art of Influencing People".

To do that you will have to first know how to get people to open up about their beliefs and their opinions. You will have to then evaluate how those beliefs and attitudes, help or hurt the actions that will need to be taken to put into place policies that benefit those around you. Many times the people you work with in your surroundings hold beliefs and opinions that you, as a Green Wizard, will have learned are not helpful to the welfare of your Community. You will have to learn how to present different options to them in a way that they will change their mind.

Some people will just bluntly come out and shout "You're Wrong!" when confronted with opposition.

Yet that doesn't get you anywhere does it?

It's much better if you can softly influence someone into changing those beliefs and opinions. If what you say causes them to change their beliefs and opinions themselves, that's helpful. Or even better, take what they believe and show them a way to accomplish their goals while also accomplishing yours. Often the conflict that happens among people is over issues that are not germane to the Bigger Picture. Your job as a Green Wizard is to handle the minor stuff while keeping your focus on the larger issues.

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A quick side trip before I continue...

Let me just restate something firmly, that I hope you all will remember. A Green Wizard should always view any beliefs and opinions that they run into with some healthy skepticism. And that goes double for their own beliefs and opinions. No one can be infallible, no one is 100 percent correct. Always go into a conversation with the understanding that YOU and not the other person may be wrong. Be willing to accept that fact and learn when you should change your opinion and not try and change someone else's.

Also, always remember that there is not one "Right Answer", to most problems or predicaments. There are usually several solutions that will make things better. Be willing to let someone else's solution be used, even if you think yours would have caused a better end result.

Pick your battles and know when allowing someone else to propose a solution, lead the effort and in the end accept congratulations, may help you later when faced with a bigger challenge.

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Having said that, the skill to influence people is not something most people are naturally born. It is something learned.

Sometimes learned well and sometimes learned poorly. Unfortunately being good at influencing people has gotten a bad rep of lates. For many people who are not good at influencing the situation they are in for their benefit, they have run into the kind of people who are good at it, but use it solely for their own advantage. Those people are often a bit of a user and gain an unfair advantage, or so the ones who aren't good perceive it that way.

The thing is that people who are good at influencing others, and who are interested not in what they can gain for themselves, but for what they can gain for the community, don't seek the limelight. They do their work quietly and in the shadows. That is where a good Green Wizard should learn to operate.

We will all be faced with challenging Times over the next few decades and there are many things we will need to change, with the way we live, the way we interact and the way we do business, and the way we just get along with each other.

Whether it is organizing a few neighbors to develop a vacant lot nearby as a community garden, petition a local city council to allow people the right to raise chickens and other small animals as food in their back yard, to lobby their regional State politician to support initiatives for sustainable energy like solar, wind and water, or even decades from now, pleading your case before the Warband leader whose gang controls your part of town to take the welfare of the citizens they now Rule seriously, it will be Green Wizards standing in the shadows and patiently affecting changes.

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Now the material to learn in this lesson...

I came across this Youtube video

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CaGF6sWi6ZM

While it uses a "Game of Thrones" character as a example, its actually pretty good. It will teach you several techniques I use when I interact with people.

(I'll have to watch soe of his other videos before I can recommend his Youtube channel.)