I can think of three main ways that people influence other people into being more productive. Here’s two:
- Emotions – appeal to fear, pride, happiness, etc.
- Admiration – person B thinks person A rocks, therefore listening to and acting upon what they say
The third way is, however, the most important. It’s making other people think the idea you gave them was their own. This lends ownership and increases self-confidence.
Doing so can raise other people’s productivity levels significantly. Some methods:
- Email a link to a third party’s blog post/tweet/Facebook update.
- Lend a book.
- Suggest to a someone’s friend that they could do with hearing some advice.
In the film Inception, they have to travel to a third level of the subconscious to plant an idea to make it seem like the person’s own. In a similar way, to change behaviours and influence others, you often have to deflect attention away from yourself towards other things to give an idea some traction!