Make them feel better (the emotional channel). Find ways
to help them feel encouraged, capable, supported, energized,
empowered, successful, happier, or valued.
Take effective action (the practical channel). Find ways to help
them take action for themselves or for people they care about.
Help them resolve issues, solve problems, build relationships,
get projects done, or accomplish tasks.
If these three channels look familiar, it’s because they link to
the three “gets” of engagement we spoke about earlier. Back
then, your goal was to understand where people were coming
from. Now, your goal is to make things better for them in ways
that will make you memorable. Here are some of our favorite
exam-ples of how it’s done.
When you offer people a new way to see themselves and the
world, you change their lives forever. That’s real influence
and as our next influencer shows, it can happen in a single
encounter with someone.
The memorable encounter we’re talking about occurred at the
U.S. Air Force Academy some years ago. At the time, John
was an Air Force officer serving in the Center for Character
Development at the academy. Paul Bucha came to speak to the
new class of cadets and John had the opportunity to escort him.
Bucha is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S.
military decoration. It’s bestowed by Congress and presented
by the President, and it’s awarded for extreme bravery in
combat beyond the call of duty.
In his speech, however, Bucha didn’t talk about the events that
led to his being awarded the Medal of Honor. He didn’t tell any
war stories at all. Instead, he emphasized that it was essential
that the cadets learn, as future officers, to support each other,
be there for each other, and care for each other.
Then something happened that is still difficult for John to
believe: Bucha asked the entire auditorium of military cadets
to hold hands.
After an initial moment of shock, the cadets took the hands of
the people on their left and right. And as they sat hand-in-hand,
Bucha asked them commit to doing the best they could to learn
how to take care of one another.
Because of his reputation as a Medal of Honor recipient,
everyone in the auditorium did what he asked. It was an
extraordinary thing to see, given that young cadets aren’t
known for being “touchy-feely” types. John suspects that even
if the highest-ranking general at the institution had entered that
auditorium and given a direct order for the cadets to hold hands,
most of them would have reacted with scorn and ridicule. But
no one in Bucha’s audience was mocking anything. And no
one who was there will ever forget that moment.
By asking the cadets in the auditorium to make this simple
but profound gesture, Bucha made them truly feel something
that they’d only understood intellectually before. He made
them understand viscerally that they were connected for life,
and they were committed to taking care of each other. It’s an
insight that almost undoubtedly changed how they viewed
their careers and their relationships. And it’s an insight that
could save some of their lives someday.
Bucha could have given the standard
speech the cadets expected to hear. He
could have talked about his own battles
and his own band of brothers. But instead,
he gave the people in his audience a new
way of looking at themselves and each
other. That’s doing more on a stellar scale.
ADDING EMOTIONAL VALUE
One of our greatest weaknesses when
we practice disconnected influence is
that we hide our emotions...and we
ask others to hide theirs. Sometimes we
play on people’s emotions intentionally
in order to manipulate them, but we don’t
really know or care what those people are
feeling deep inside.
Real influencers, however, want to know
where other people are coming from
emotionally. And in seeking ways to do
more, they look for opportunities to make
people feel happier, more fulfilled, and
REAL INFLUENCE CAN BE FOUND AT ALL NATIONAL BOOKSTORES, AS WELL AS ONLINE
STORES, INCLUDING AMAZON.