I have been thinking about the concept of influence. It is an interesting concept and one that puzzles me most of the time. They (and of course we all know who the they in they is)tell us growing up to be honest and face the reality of what needs to be said. But you don’t influence people with negative messages.
To a degree negative presentations work. They tend towards honest but they also tend towards brutal. How do you balance the negative information with the reality of influencing people?
For a long time I always presented information to other people in the manner we were trained to do as teachers, part positive (you are doing this well) with the part negative (but you need to do this better). It is funny to me that the “Kindergarten” rules are so quickly forgotten in the business world.
Why can we not talk about being positive first and then negative? Saying the nice thing first? I was once advised by a manager that I was to positive about people and needed to present more negative views. I did that for a number of years but have come to realize that in fact it isn’t the way I was raised nor is that the way I want to be.
There is some value in the positive influence. I just have to find a way to do that after all the years of negative!