Einstein said it best when he proclaimed that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

Most of you will agree that humans are creatures of habit, and often believe that if you just continue doing what you’ve been doing to achieve your objective;, it will eventually come to fruition. However, this usually leads to a lot of frustration on your end, as you realize that more often than not things do not change to meet your expectations.

For example, in meetings you may often feel that the more information you provide, the more likely it is that the other party will agree with you. If they do not, you continue to give them even more information as to why they should agree with you. In the Positive Power and Influence® Program, this process is referred to as the “bloody forehead syndrome”, where you keep hitting your head against the brick wall, hoping that it will somehow cause that wall to move. This is why when we talk about the Influence Style of Persuading, we say that you should give one clear proposal and only two or three reasons to back your recommendation. Too many reasons will dilute your argument and give the other individual more “ammunition” to reject your suggestion.

How to Move From Insanity to Productivity

However, you must remember that there are several ways in which you can influence others to agree to your recommendations and requests. In certain situations giving facts and reasons will not suffice and may even damage the relationship, if the other individual is not willing to be objective concerning the topic of discussion. In some cases, you may need to find out more information in order to know exactly how to approach this individual in a way where you can influence them to get things done, while at the same time maintaining and possibly strengthening the relationship. This is where the PPI diagnostic checklist comes into play. By using this checklist, you will be able to differentiate what is important to you and what you perceive to be important to the individual you are trying to influence. When you plan your influencing attempt systematically, you may be surprised at the results. For example, you may have been trying for months to influence an individual using Persuading, because that is what makes sense to you and you are very comfortable with this particular Style. However, after completing the diagnostic checklist you may find that this situation is more likely to be successful if you use Attracting instead, because the individual would like to “see” where this project is going and how they fit into the equation.

In other instances, you may realize that you need more information from the other person so that you can find common ground or determine what is really important for the individual in order to get them on board. In that case, you would use Bridging to ask questions and listen attentively to their answers. This may be difficult for you, because you have to be willing to be influenced and disclose certain pieces of information, but taking the time to build and foster that foundation of trust is critical for creating a lasting and productive relationship.

Other times, you may realize that you just need to be straight forward and tell the other person exactly what you want from them . Although you may not be comfortable with Asserting, being able to say what you like or don’t like, what you want, and provide motivation (through incentives and pressures) allows you to be entirely clear about what you expect from the other person, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

So, if you find yourself going “insane” from doing the same thing over and over again and not seeing different results, we suggest you try using the various Influence Styles. We are certain that you will be pleasantly surprised when you realize that you can positively influence the outcome of a situation by simply changing your approach.