The blog ofJonathan Pepin

Notes on how to be an Influencer


Common sets of principles and skills that help create quick, profound, and lasting change.
What qualifies 'leaders' is their capacity to influence others to change their behaviors in order to achieve important results.
It is not persuasion.

3 keys to influence

  1. focus and measure
  2. find vital behaviors
  3. engage all 6 sources of influence

I. Focus and Measure

Set clear, compelling, value-based and challenging goals
This allows a bigger impact on people, because it engages more than the brain, but also the heart.
Making the goal time bound will also give a delivery date that helps focusing.

Measure frequently
A measure won't drive behaviors if it doesn't maintain attention, and it certainly won't maintain attention if it is rarely assessed.
Measurement is an integral part of the change effort, and done correctly, it informs and drives behaviors.

Measure the right thing
Measure the behavior you want to influence.
Good measure will drive behaviors in the correct direction as much as bad measure will drive them in the wrong one.

II. Find vital behaviors

Don't try to change too much at one.
Find a handful of key behaviors which will be high leverage at changing habits.
Find 1 or 2 low hanging fruits with high impacts.

Find those crucial moments which lead to disproportionate influence from either good or bad decisions, leading to a cascade of positive or negative results.
These moments are the vital behaviors.

III. Six sources of influence

motivation ability
Personal Mission and values Skill building
Social Peer pressure Social support
Structural Reward and accountability Tools and resources

1. Personal Motivation

The main problem is bad behaviors feel good and good behaviors feel bad.
Make pain pleasurable with 4 tactics:

a. allow for choices
Motivational interviewing. Don't try to impose your own agenda.
Skillful set of questions to help discover their own conclusion on what they want.

b. create direct experiences
The most powerful way to help people recognize, feel and believe in the long term implications of their choices is to get out of their way and let them experience them firsthand.

c. tell meaningful stories
In addition of creating direct experiences, telling meaningful stories help people relate and understand the impacts of bad behaviors.

d. make it a game
Gamify behaviors by keeping score, creating competition, adding the feeling of constant improvement and personal control.

2. Personal Ability

Spend more time than you suspect you'll need engaging people in practicing the new behavior.
Changing behavior almost always involves learning new skills.
Need realistic conditions, coaching and feedback.
Break behaviors in smaller tasks allowing people to judge how they are doing.

Help practice how to recover from setbacks, if they fail in early attempts.
Teach how to deal with emotions.

3. Social Motivation

Provide encouragement.
Embrace the power humans hold over one another.
Ensure the right people provide ecouragements, coaching and accountability during crucial moments.

People must feel praised, emotionally supported and encouraged by the ones around them.
Then also must feel the opposite when they practice bad behaviors.

One respected individual can create conditions that compel others to act.
Start by leading the way yourself by showing, and getting respect by sacrificing time, money, ego and priorities.
Then, only after yourself, engage formal and informal opinion leaders.

Change norms by making the undiscussable discussable.

And finally, hold everyone accountable.

4. Social Ability

Have people help each others.
A group is always smarter than the smartest individual in it.
Develop people's ability to work on a team.
Make sure you offer enough social capital for people to change their behaviors.

5. Structural Motivations

Change their economy by using the power of things, such as reward, perks, salaries and boot in the rear.
Should not be too much to overwhelm people to change, but simply to remove disincentives.

Use incentives wisely. Don't reward the use of something already loved.
Personal and social motivations have to be achieved first.
Small incentives only. Less is more.

Don't wait until people achieve phenomenal results. Reward small improvements along the way.
And not just results, but also behaviors.

To the opposite, avoir punishment.
Use warnings, with the threat of punishment, but avoir actually administering it when a bad behavior happens.

Bad punishment makes people defensive and weakens the relationships you have with them.
Works against the bad behaviors only in the short term.
Rewarding behaviors is better than punishing bad ones.

When bad behaviors occur, first warn about punishment, then only if bad behavior continue, administer the punishment.

6. Structural Ability

Change their space.
The environment is really influencing you. Is it pushing people to the top or holding them down?

Things around us influence our behaviors.
Make sure the environment around is nice and influences towards good behaviors.

People make choices based on cognitive maps that explain which behaviors leads to which outcome.

Need to keep continuous, accurate data stream to keep people aware of what is important and how it is performing.
But too much data is simply noise, so share only the relevant data that matters.

Propinquity is physical proximity.
Proximity leads to more conversations, which lead to more collaboration.
As a leader, stay close to your employees to build and maintain relationships and have meaningful conversations while being always available.

Analyse how the things around influence good and bad behaviors and change those things accordingly.
Make the good behavior easy and the bad ones hard.

those where notes taken from Influencers