Entrepreneur Addiction #18 — '360 Degrees of Influence'
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Since we were babies crying for milk, we’ve been trying to influence others to get what we need. For business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, and employees, and nearly every person walking the planet, the skill of influence is critical for success.
In this podcast, we have a conversation with Harrison Monarth about his third book, “360 Degrees of Influence: Get Everyone to Follow Your Lead On Your Way to the Top,” about how to influence people for the mutual good to achieve success in life and business.
Monarth is a New York Times Bestselling author, and regularly advises Fortune 500 companies and prepares CEOs, executives, political candidates for high-stakes presentations. His client list includes IBM, Merrill Lynch, US Bank, PepsiCo, Intel, Cisco Systems, DHL, Prudential, American Heart Association and many others.
So grab your headphones, turn up the volume, and enjoy the conversation.
In this episode of the Entrepreneur Addiction Podcast, we discuss:
- Influence is a superpower
- Compared to “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
- How empathy influences
- How to influence with the digital world and social media
- Born to influence
- Don’t just stand there and cry
- Good manipulation?
- Mutual Good
- Influence is constant
- A gentle suggestion
- X-Ray veggies
- Your influence starts with you
- What can businesses do to influence public perception?
- Lessons from Al Pacino
- Paying attention to the little things
- Social intelligence and emotional intelligence
- The Devil’s Advocate
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Voice: Fueling your business success, this is the entrepreneur addiction podcast, breaking the small business loan news you need if you obsess about your company. Heard exclusively on Lendio.com. And now here are our your hosts: Brock Blake, Dan Bischoff and Patrick Wiscombe.
Patrick: This podcast is sponsored by Lendio.com, the online source you need to find the right business financing to grow your company. So check them out: Lendio.com, to get your business growing right now. It’s the entrepreneur addiction podcast episode number nineteen. My name is Patrick Wiscombe. Thank you, as always, for tuning us in and taking us along wherever and however you’re accessing the podcast. Coming up on today’s addition of the Entrepreneur Addiction Podcast we’re going to be talking with Harrison Monarth the author of 360 Degrees of Influence. Dan Bischoff director of communications at Lendio.com. Mr. News himself, Dan Bischoff. Let’s get right into this. Are you Colorado, Harrison?
Harrison: New York City.
Patrick: What are you doing in New York? I thought I dialed a Colorado phone number?
Harrison: My mobile phone number is actually a Colorado phone number. We have an office in Denver, Colorado and in New York, and I lived in Colorado for a while actually. That’s why I’m still using that number.
Patrick: Where do you live in New York City? Is it New York City?
Harrison: Yeah, I’m in Manhattan actually.
Patrick: I used to live in Manhattan, on 83rd and Amston.
Harrison: Is that right?
Harrison: I’m on 82nd and York.
Patrick: That’s the east side, if memory serves. It’s been a while sense I’ve been there.
Harrison: Sure, sure. East side. Yeah.
Patrick: Okay. I guess the first question we have: What was the idea behind this book?
Harrison: First of all, 360 Degrees of Influence, the title, it means having influence in virtually ever direction. When the idea for the book was forming in my mind, I wanted to give readers information that doesn’t just help them get their way in a few distinct scenarios, but actually to help professionals, entrepreneurs, business people, executives at every level, I wanted them to become more influential in the way that they think, act, and seeing leverage everywhere, in every meaningful interaction. So I want people to understand that every instance of communication, every interpersonal exchange, every situation where we’re looking to make some progress, where we have some interest in a particular outcome, has an opportunity for influence within it. While my audience is business people and professionals and executives, people in every walk of life can benefit tremendously from the ideas and advice in 360 Degrees of Influence.
Dan: In the intro there of your book you talk about giving a comparison of being a superpower or a superhero. Talk to us a little bit about that, of why influence is in a way a superpower that we’d want, that a business owner would want, and why we would want that.
Harrison: Thinking about what influence is really, there’s obviously a number of definitions. Influence is having an impact on people’s thinking or behavior and having an impact on ones’ environment in a way that moves you towards your goals. It ultimately, whether you’re interested in more responsibility, a bigger position and more money and more friends, it doesn’t matter what it is one wants or needs, you get there with influence. You get there with having more influence. That’s why I likened it to a superpower because with influence ‘you can never have enough of it’ is my philosophy. You’re a business owner, an entrepreneur, a banker, the president of the United States, you can always have more influence to get your goals met. It’s so critical that people work on their ability to influence others. We’ll talk a little more about the ethics of it, but it’s a crucial skill. I recommend that anyone work on improving it.
Dan: I’ve read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, and it seems like yours is kind of along those lines, maybe a ‘how to’ scientific approach. How does it compare to that book, that classic book.
Harrison: How to Win Friends and Influence People has been around for a long time. It’s been around since the 1930’s. Dale Carnegie wrote it, and there’s a lot of things in there that still hold true about basic human behavior. It’s about empathy. It’s about relating to others. My book has a lot of the latest research in it and talks about situations we face everyday. We’ve learned more about people. We understand more in the last few decades. We’ve learned how people relate, the biases of people, our belief systems, so we have more awareness and information at our fingertips that we can use in making friends and influencing people.
Dan: Earlier you said, you talked about empathy a little bit, and you talk about an empathic accuracy in your book a little bit, towards the beginning. Explain that a little bit.
Harrison: Sure. Empathic accuracy is the ability to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Social researchers call it that. In order to influence others, it’s a critical skill because it allows us to read and reach people on a deeper level and successfully pitch our case. Mastering the art of empathy depends on successfully interpreting verbal, local non verbal cues that link to the thoughts and feelings of people at a given moment or a span of time. Our body language, content, tone, vocal tonality, the volume of your voice, how people interact with one another, it all helps us assign meaning to what we hear, what we see, and what we perceive. Empathy is putting ourselves into another persons being, so to speak, into their body and their mind. The more I can understand someone else, the better I can influence them.
Patrick: So in terms of influencing, how does a business person or a business owner, how can they become more empathetic.
Harrison: It’s interchangeably. ?It’s impact? that your empathetic. You can use either one, yeah.
Dan: You talk about verbal cues and non-verbal cues and tone of voice and things, and some of those today in the digital world is not there so much anymore, right? It’s social media and things that’s the way we communicate with other people. How can we use that with social media?
Harrison: You’re absolutely correctly. Obviously via social media I don’t have the interpersonal signals like tone of voice, eye contact, proximity. However, I don’t think it has changed, our connections with people. We do have these touch points. If I call into your companies customer service line, that exchange between the customer service representative and me is crucial. The attitude I hear in the person’s voice. How long I have to wait. How helpful they are. How quickly they answer my questions. How open they are to helping. All those things, they’re shaping my perception of your company, and they’re shaping the influence you’ll have on whether I’ll do business with you. So there’s still plenty of touch points. Now the other part of your question: so much is done now via social media. What it is does, what social media has done, is it’s given us actually a wealth of information, much more than we’ve ever had before, about people preferences, about their motivations, about their feelings about our service and our product. People are online. They share their ideas. They share their opinions about something, from reviews to forums to message boards, you name it, to dial log on Facebook, or any of the other social media sites, LinkedIn. People are sharing, and astute companies they’re actually listening. They listen. They read. They pay attention. They join the conversation. They join the dialogue. And the more you do that, the more you can actually tailor your offerings to the preferences of your customers and people, and catch problems before they actually become… or catch discontent, I should say, before it becomes a problem.
Patrick: So is your book more about person to person relationships, or can we cross over into social media, or is it both?
Harrison: Oh, it’s both. Absolutely. And that’s why 360 Degrees of Influence, it is absolutely, it is influence in every direction. Yes. I give examples of people in the social media, in the social media run, making mistakes by Tweeting or posting messages on social media sites that come around to bite them and harm their influence and hurt their influence with others.
Patrick: Is influence a lost art? Or is it something you’re kind of born with, you just get it?
Harrison: It’s a good question. We’re definitely born with sort of the innate power to influence. In the book I talk about how, you know, babies for instance. We can’t tell anyone that we’re hungry or we’re thirsty or we’re cold or we’re uncomfortable or, you know, we’re in pain. What it is is we cry, we scream, we scream our heads off, you know, until we get red in the face.
Dan: And that works.
Harrison: That works very well. (laughter)
Patrick: So that’s what it was, okay.
Harrison: Naturally parents, of course, as parents you respond. You have the built in mechanism to respond to that, to nurture, to figure out, “Okay, I need help. Something’s wrong.” So it is certainly something you’re born with. However, we all know someone who is much better at influencing others than others. It’s a skill that you can hone when you understand how others make decisions, how other people behave, how other people think and feel, and the more you know about… I always say, leaders and business owners, professionals, their second business should really be that of psychology and understanding other people in order to help themselves.
Patrick: You know, that’s a great point. I’ve always thought about psychology in business, human behavior 101 basically.
Harrison: Absolutely. It’s so critical. I mean, if I understand other people and how they think and how they feel, and it actually starts with you, understanding yourself, but yeah, it absolutely can give you an edge. Some people do it naturally. They have a certain inclination, but others, we all know people that don’t have any… that just don’t seem to get along with people. I have clients… I’m an executive coach so I work with a lot of clients who are very accomplished as far as their credentials and their business-savvy or their, I should say, their special skill, the expert skill. Yet, they turn people off. They don’t get along with people. They don’t know how to manage other people’s emotions and their feelings, and so, yeah, they get marginalized.
Dan: Yeah, talking about babies crying to get your attention, and you talk about why we’re born to influence, do we lose that a little bit? I mean, maybe some people don’t. Some people still cry and get the raise they wanted or something. But do we lose that as we grow up? Do we lose that ability that we’re born with?
Harrison: Well, it works. That kind of stuff… again, this is kind of a natural instinct, right? We cry and we get what we want because, well, we’ve got parents, the attachment to parent to child and the other way around. Do we lose it? We certainly… it becomes more nuanced, right, if I’m asking for a raise, or I’m trying to get the help of my peers or a team, or if I’m trying to get on the radar of my boss for instance. These are all moments and opportunities for influence, but now you can’t just stand there and cry.
Patrick: (laughter) “I want a raise!”
Harrison: (laughter) Somebody give him some attention.
Patrick: You know, I used to make fun of the psychology majors. Maybe I’ll reverse my position on that, thinking, “Why in the world would you want a degree in psychology?” And I guess I’ll answer my own question going, “Well, because psychology can really play into business.” Is manipulation a good word for reading people? And I don’t mean that in a negative context. With psychology, can you manipulate your customers in a way that you want them to behave?
Harrison: It’s a great question actually, Patrick, because manipulation, I always say… actually, manipulation always has very negative connotations. However, to me it’s a very neutral word because when you go into a chiropractor, let’s say, they manipulate your muscular skeletal system, right? They manipulate your spine, let’s say. They rearrange it. Like if I invite you into my home, and if I bake fresh cookies before you come in, well, in a sense I’m trying to manipulate you, and I’m deliberately using the example of the cookies because I had to have a CAT scan done from a sports injury once. And I walked into this clinic, this small clinic with all these super modern and high tech machines, and the first thing that hits me is this intense smell of fresh baked cookies. So I’m thinking, “Wow.” And immediately you go from very clinic environment to, “Wow, this is comforting. This is welcoming.” So they do that intentionally. Why? To manipulate you. To make you feel more at home and comfortable. So it’s influence, sure. Manipulation is influence, and influence is manipulation. But kind of depends on your own moral compass of how you see it. Are you just out for you own good? Are you just trying to get an advantage for yourself, or are you making sure that you’re also benefiting the other party that you’re trying to influence? So if you offer value while at the same time trying meet your goals… For example, as a business owner, I’m trying to get somewhere. I’m trying to make a profit. I’m trying to stay in business. I’m trying to get more customers. So, yes, I am influencing my target market, but if I do it with just my own profit in mind, I’m going to lose customers quickly, and I’m going to be out of business very soon.
Patrick: So you have to take into account the other person, or whatever your end goal is, and manipulate… I guess I hate the word manipulate.
Harrison: It’s just because it’s had so many negative connotations. It really doesn’t make sense to use it, but when you look it up, manipulate means to arrange, to position, you know.
Dan: Yeah. It’s that section in your book about mutual good, what you’re talking about here. Even with us, it’s good for us to have you on and you to get in front of our audience. It’s a mutual, good for both of us, right?
Harrison. Absolutely, absolutely. That’s why I say, that mutual good that you mention: if my attempts to influence only benefit me, in the end you’ll feel manipulated, and rightfully so. To avoid that perception, you should help others meet their goals as much as possible, as part of that successful interaction.
Patrick: We are talking with Harrison Monarth the author of 360 Degrees of Influence: get everyone to follow your lead on your way to the top. That’s the book. I guess we should probably plug the book here for a second. Where do we pick this up and how long has it been out?
Harrison: Great. The book just came out a couple of weeks ago. It is available at all major booksellers, certainly major books, and Barnes&Noble.com, Amazon.com, all the major sellers.
Dan: One thing that kind of scared me as I was reading through it is about how we’re being influenced everywhere we are, and we don’t even know about it. Talk about some of the ways we’re being influenced right as we speak, and we don’t even know.
Harrison: Right, right. This also kind of relates to I have a chapter, the very first chapter: Influence is Constant. I’ll give you an example. Living here in New York City, I use cabs a lot. I have sort of an aversion too… I think I’m claustrophobic, so I don’t like subways too much. So I get into cabs. Here in New York City the cabs have screens in the backs of the passenger seats, so when you get to your destination, the screen, the receipt or the invoice shows up on the screen and suggests how much to tip the driver when you get to the destination. There are big colorful buttons that give the option of paying two dollars, three dollars, or four dollars if the fare is under fifteen bucks. If the fare is over fifteen dollars, than the button displays percentages: from twenty percent to twenty-five to thirty percent. Big buttons. All you have to do is click and choose twenty, twenty-five, or thirty percent, and so they’re counting on people laziness or inability to calculate and self-select a fair tip. New York cabbies have reported that tips have shot way up. Why? Because people are moved towards these buttons. They are influenced towards these buttons, which are titled toward generosity.
Patrick: (laughter) So a gentle suggestion, basically?
Harrison: Yeah. Of course, a gentle suggestion. It’s a shortcut. It’s a decision making shortcut. I don’t have to think. Well, so what you do is… I hit ‘other’ because I don’t think every cab ride is always worth thirty percent extra. I click other, and then I enter my own tip. It’s a dollar, let’s say. Schools for instance. Schools are positioning, and healthily so… there’s a lot of influencing attempts, which again, there’s the ideal scenario where it helps someone. When you’re trying to influence, it helps you, it helps someone else. Schools are positioning healthier food choices: fruits, vegetables, making them more appealing than the more popular foods. Kids love fried foods, you know. Everybody loves fried foods, but they put the choices of fruits and vegetables, they position it differently with improved lighting, positioning, naming. They call them xray veggies. Carrots are called xray veggies. All of sudden that sounds cool, so “I’ll have some of that.”
Patrick: You can put Phineas and Ferb in front of something, and it will instantly sell better.
Harrison: You know, absolutely. My own grandfather, I used to hate eating meat. I grew up in Germany and used to hate eating meat as a six year old. I was five/six year old. So my grandfather would point at the cow on my plate and say, “Oh, really. This is lion. This is tiger. This is wolf.” Then I would eat meat like you wouldn’t believe it just because… well, that was straight out lying.
Patrick: But it was helpful manipulation.
Harrison: It was helpful. Yeah, exactly. It certainly served them, and maybe I got my protein that way.
Dan: Let’s kind of go how to do this a little bit. In one part of your book you say, “It all starts with you.” Let’s go through some of the steps of how, some suggestions of how we can start influencing our audience today. The first one starts with “How it starts with you.” Talk about that. Why does it start with me or Patrick?
Harrison: Yeah, sure. How does the influence start with you?
Harrison: Your influence, the perception of your influence I should say, depends on how you’re viewed by others. When you, again, using the example of a highly paid specialist, let’s say. We see people out there… Tiger Woods has a lot of influence. He has a specialty skill. He’s a golfer. He’s a great golfer, and he had a lot of influence in making a lot of money with advertisers. Well, because he’s made serious mistakes in his social life, that hurt his image. His personal life obviously impacted how people saw him and how people valued that image, from advertisers to people on the street. They thought he was morally deficient. He was a cheater, and he just wasn’t a role model as they first thought he was. Your own conduct, your personal brand, your ability to influence people with your social intelligence, your ability to get along with people, to manage people’s impressions, that’s you. If you don’t have that, if you are inconsistent, in displaying your values and your leadership, then you won’t have much influence. People won’t have a lot of respect for you. They don’t know what they’re getting, so they’re fearful of hiring you. It starts with you by understanding, “How do I come across? Who am I? What are my values? How do other people perceive me?” Even people who don’t self-destruct spectacularly like Tiger Woods, they may undermine themselves and their careers by not paying attention to their own behavior. That client, for example, who was a brilliant medical professional, an anesthesiologist, very credentialed, he was asked by the chief of the hospital to leave, to resign because he didn’t fit into that culture. He would make people cry, nurses cry. He just wouldn’t have any influence over the people he’d work with, and they didn’t want to work with him. So you can turn off your coworkers and not have any real idea that you’re doing it. I tell people, “We need to work on your emotional intelligence, your social intelligence to learn these things, to understand how you come across, and understand what it is that makes you tick.” Then focus outward and say, “Okay, let’s see how I affect people.”
Patrick: Can you ever reverse people’s perception of you, once you’ve been pegged as whatever it is?
Harrison. Sure. That’s a tough one. In fact, Jeffery Pfeffer a business professor at Stanford, who endorsed my book, he’s written a book called Power. The subtitle, I think is why we have it. Anyway the title is Power. His philosophy is basically, once your reputation is, or once you have a certain reputation that you’ve lost power, move on. Start somewhere else. Go somewhere else. You know, I can understand that. I can see how he feels that way. But to your question, not everybody can do that. You can’t just… you’ve made a mistake. People look at you in a certain way. Maybe you’ve made a fool of yourself in front of the whole group by making a bad decision. Not everyone can just pick up and move on because they’ve made a mistake. Can you reverse it? Yes, but it will take time. You can absolutely, you can prove, you can put things in perspective and show that that was a one time slip up perhaps, depending on what it was. I think aggressions of unethical nature are a little harder to overcome but, you know, if you made a mistake, if it was a misstep, an honest mistake, then you can absolutely come back and work harder at it, gain people’s trust again. Show consistency in your new behavior but, yeah, it takes time.
Dan: I think this relates a little about chapter ten, about what business owners can do to influence the public’s impression of their organization. What are some of the steps that businesses can do, rather than just the individual, what can businesses do to ‘start with you’ as a business and influence people, their audience?
Harrison: Yeah, what can businesses do to influence public perception. If books hadn’t already been written about that in one way or another… I mean, it’s a topic I’m really passionate about. I come in contact with a lot of businesses: restaurants, hotels, venders of any kind. And it’s just mind boggling to me how little businesses owners seem to pay attention how they come across, how they’re businesses are communicating with the outside world. There’s a great example. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie, it’s either Oceans Eleven, Twelve, or Thirteen.
Patrick: I love all the Ocean movies.
Harrison: All of them. In one of them, Al Pacino was a casino owner. I think he played sort of a version of Steve Wynn. Al Pacino was this big boss.
Patrick: That was number thirteen by the way.
Harrison. Was it?
Patrick: Yeah it was.
Harrison: Okay. So Al Pacino walks through the hotel lobby in his hotel and, you know, his handlers and entourage are around him. Everybody’s fanning him, and all of sudden this waiter trips and spills something on him, Al Pacino. And of course the waiter is horrified: “Sorry. Really, I beg your pardon.” And all this and that. And Al Pacino goes, “Oh, no, no. Don’t blame yourself. I should’ve fired you two weeks ago.”
Harrison: I think often, when I get bad service or when I see bad behavior, you know, I don’t blame the person behind the counter. I really don’t. I blame the manager or whoever hired them or whoever trained them, the business owner who doesn’t pay attention to what the employees are doing, what their staff is doing, who obviously doesn’t coach them, train them, and condition them and help them provide better service. I never blame the person. I blame the business owner. So what can they do, Dan just asked. What can you do to influence the public’s impression? It’s paying attention, observing, watching, “How do we do business? How can we make life easier from visiting our website to getting help over the telephone to how do we answer the phone, to what are the steps to resolving issues?” There’s so many different ways that we can influence the public’s perception, and it’s a lack of focus. A lot of people are focused on a number of other things, but they miss that. I walk into a restaurant for instance and I think, “How can that be?” Half of the seats have crumbs on them and rings. I mean, somebody’s got to see that. Somebody’s got to figure out, when I come in there… not ‘I’, but when people go into a restaurant, they want to sit down at a clean space, you know. It’s the more obvious things that are more often overlooked.
Patrick: You know, that always grosses me out. You go into a restaurant, crumbs still on the table. You’ve still got drink rings. I’m like, “Can someone bring a rag out here please.”
Dan: Yeah, maybe it’s hiring them at minimum wage. Maybe that’s what does it.
Patrick: Do you think that wages can influence or manipulate people to do a better job, or do they see a bigger paycheck and go, “Well, I won’t do that.”?
Harrison: I’ll tell you what. My personal opinion is no. There are a lot of studies that have been done that people are not just intrinsically motivated. People are motivated by praise, by being taken seriously, by being valued as a member of the team. And so, that would be a horrible excuse to say, “Oh, well. They’re only getting minimum wage, so you can’t expect them to pay attention.” No. Than don’t hire them. You train them. You train them to pay attention to those things, and I’ll tell you what, people value being trained, being paid attention to, being taken seriously. They want to be professionals. Whether you work at a McDonald’s or a small diner or a big bank, if your employers and your managers and your trainers pay attention to you and help you do a great job, I would argue that you are a happier employee. You’re more satisfied in your job. Not just diners or restaurants. You walk into a bank and people think… You know, people are in their own world. Say they’re counting behind the counter. They’re counting money or they’re finishing a transaction while the line is there waiting. Rather than shooting out a smile and saying, “I’ll be right with you.” So they focus on that, and then they look up with a stern face and say, “Next.” You know, we’re not robots.
Patrick: So, it’s the little things?
Harrison: Absolutely. It is the little things. The big things, they’re off more on the radar. But the little things, the human interactions that make me want to go back to a place, I’m telling you, that’s what makes a business hum in my opinion.
Dan: I think those are good points, probably for, we talked a little bit about being the employee and influencing to get a raise, but also the CEO needs to be the good influencer to help those minimum wage workers capture the vision and that kind of thing and do a good job.
Harrison: I think, Dan, people, particularly businesses online, I mean, I guarantee you Jeff Bezos from Amazon or the CEO of Zappos. You better believe that, they probably go through the same process that every customer goes through, just to see “How easy is it to order from us? How quickly can we get problems resolved? How easy is it to ship stuff back?” And CEO’s of big companies, they should do the same thing. They should go in, eat at their own place, watch people, have mystery shoppers. I mean, if you don’t know what’s going on in the front lines, you may be thinking, “Big picture,” but at the same time, customer loyalty is eroding right there where it counts. People that you don’t pay attention to, the minimum wage workers or people at the front lines, they’re the most important. They’re some of the most important people in your company.
Patrick: You live in New York City. Great place to live. Is there a great restaurant right where you live, just because of the things that you talk about in your book?
Harrison: Yeah. Absolutely. In fact, I gave a restaurant, my favorite, it’s a diner. It’s a diner right around the corner from me. I go there, not because the food is superior, I think the food is probably quite average as a diner… They make good eggs. I like to eat breakfast anytime of the day. They make good eggs. They make decent things. But you know, food can only be so good. You kind of top out at really good.
Patrick: (laughter) “Hey, that was really good.”
Harrison: That was really good. There’s nothing else I can say about it. But it’s the service. They welcome you. They smile. The managers go out of their way. They shake your hand, and not just with somebody like me. I see them interacting with other people. They have a quick chat, a friendly chat, and you see the same faces there all the time. It’s just remarkable because it’s like a place away from home. So yeah, I seek that place out because of the way I feel when I go in there. It’s clean. It’s simple. But it’s like with other restaurants. To me it’s that service, that personal touch, the way they take an order, the way the understand, they call you by your first name, what you like, guessing, predicting what you’ll order. It’s one of those things, like anything, it’s a relationship, and when that relationship is solid, and when both parties fulfill their end of the bargain, it just becomes a great thing. You can do that, again, whether it’s a restaurant or a bank or at the post office. It’s just a… I think what surprised me the most is how a community there is even in a place like New York City.
Patrick: That expression, “Man, it really is a small world.”
Harrison: When everybody sort of takes care of one another, people provide good service, they recognize you rather than just treating you like another, you know, as another customer, I guess, or a number, it has such an impact. It has a tremendous impact.
Patrick: So the take away from this whole thing, really, is business owners, CEOs, those who are in a position of influence, managers, whoever it is, you really need to take a look at you business to see how you can make the experience better.
Harrison: Yes. Absolutely.
Patrick: To manipulate. To influence people to do what you want them to do. Again, there’s that word manipulate.
Dan: No. I think the mutual good is probably…
Patrick: Yeah, there you go. The mutual good. There we go.
Dan: Each chapter seems to have a multitude of different principles that I thought were fascinating, and I want to talk about a couple that you think are important. Of the top of my head, I’m thinking, “Emotional intelligence. Social intelligence. Group think. Irrational escalation. Subconscious bias. Etc…” Talk about, as we’re running out of time a little bit here, talk about one or two of those that you think are important for the listeners.
Harrison: Sure. Sure. Just for quick, social intelligence and emotional intelligence, those are leadership qualities that if you have them, if you’re not just an expert or a specialist in your field, you have cognitive intelligence, but if you have emotional intelligence, that’s consistently shown to be a hallmark of great leaders: the ability to manage your own emotions, to sense emotions in others, to manage their emotions, that’s very powerful. That’s a big leadership asset. Things that you just mentioned like group think and irrational escalation. These are things that we need to be aware of. These are biases that people have. For instance, say you have a team that you’re managing, and there’s a decision to be made. Well, it’s very easy for people to fall in line one another when one or two strong people in the group say, “You know what? I think this is a great decision. I think we should do this.” We’re naturally looking for shortcuts. So when two people we sort of look up to say, or one person that say, “Let’s do this.” It’s easy to say, “Yeah. Okay. That sounds like a good idea.” There’s not a natural descent, so what happens often is everybody falls in line, and you don’t get other perspectives. So what can you do to actually counteract that? Managers or executives should then appoint either a devil’s advocate or be the devil’s advocate or appoint a dissenter, somebody’s who says, “Look, have we thought about this? Have we thought about that?” Somebody’s who role it actually is to say…
Dan: I’d love to be that guy, to have that title: the devil’s advocate.
Patrick: (laughter) And we have a title.
Harrison: Be the actual person who does that. Then you’ll start to see… you know, because a lot a of people are afraid to speak up because, “Wow. The majority opinion is this. Why would I ruffle feathers now?” To actually do that, to counteract that. Irrational escalation its a… you may have heard of the sunk cost effect. People have invested so much time and so much money or effort into a certain course of action, there’s a tremendous sense of loss now if they pull out. So what do we do? We throw good money after bad and keep digging the hole deeper. At least we don’t have to admit we made a mistake. Eventually we either run out of money or we’re forced to abandon the project. So how can you counteract that? The challenge is that. You basically just pull the plug and say, “Okay. No more. We’ve seen that it doesn’t behoove us. It’s not a good thing. We went down the wrong path. Stop now. Cut our losses and start fresh.” That’s difficult to do. These are all biases that are unnatural, and as we talked earlier, having this understanding of psychology and human behavior and understanding our biases, of which there are hundreds and hundreds of biases: different decision making biases; social biases. Once we understand them and how people make decisions, we can actually influence those decisions and help people make better decisions and influence more effectively. And we become more effective influencers and leaders by understanding those biases.
Patrick: Alright, we’ll go ahead and wrap it up there. We’ve been speaking with Harrison Monarth the author of 360 Degrees of Influence: get everyone to follow your lead on your way to the top. He also has a couple other books out there: The Confident Speaker, which you can find at TheConfidentSpeaker.com; and Executive Presence Book Dot Com. That is the book right?
Harrison: Yep. Yep.
Patrick: And then, of course, you can got to his website, which is GuruMaker.com. Harrison it’s been a pleasure to meet you and to just talk about your book. I’m always fascinated with people who study business and, in this particular case, your sphere of influence, for lack of a better way to phrase that. Thank you for being part of the podcast today.
Harrison: Thank you, Patrick. I appreciate it, and thank you, Dan. It was very nice speaking with both of you.
Patrick: We’ll go ahead and wrap it up there. So for Harrison Monarth, be sure to pick up his book at all the major bookstores. Again, the author of 360 Degrees of Influence. And Dan Bischoff, the director of corporate communications, a very influential man at Lendio. So for Harrison, Dan, I’m Patrick. Thanks for listening to the Entrepreneur Addiction Podcast. We’ll talk to you next week. See ya.
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