The blurred border between influence and manipulation often leads to confusion, but above all to confusing intents. Indeed, the line between negative manipulation and positive influence is far from clear. I am not trying to overwhelm you with rhetorical definitions or semantics. My intention is to encourage you to rationally evaluate the ethical, authentic and spontaneous values of influence or manipulation. Do you manage to influence through these values? What “ethical” authority do you have to draw lines between nurture, influence and manipulation? Your skills, your legitimacy, your social status, your organizational power? In each and every one of these cases, the serenity and sustainability of your influence are and will always be challenged!
We all need to influence both personally and professionally … Influence a person or a group of people, influence a situation, a decision, influence to negotiate better, influence to strengthen organizational power … It certainly occurs, but certainly not all the time, and probably not as often as we would like, in a serene and sustainable manner!
Serene, spontaneous influence results from the relationship paradigm you share with others. The paradigm of lasting influence recognizes that people around you deserve that you believe in them, that you respect them as they are, that you listen to them, help them build themselves and their future. The individuality of each person deserves our respect. Empathy should power our social interactions even if we risk being manipulated because of this empathy. We should also be influenced to then be able to influence afterwards. It is also about giving freely, with no expected returns, to conceive a new type of relationship, based on free emotion, respect and mutually beneficial construction.
You will not be able to share this paradigm with all kinds of people or personalities; some certainly are more deserving of your serene influence than others. Not through natural exclusion, but purely through natural laws of attraction and affinity. It is impressive to see how “like attracts like”, we “attract what we think” and “what we feel”. We all emit signals that echo and propagate through our social network. This reflects how these vibrations create a kind of attraction energy for events, objects, people, feelings … Then, we are attracted by likeness and we influence through likeness. By bringing them to the fore, we will influence only what we reflect through our exemplarity, our sincerity, and our sense of values!
By Farid Yandouz