Knowledgeable people are more likely to be influential

”Knowledge is power”. That’s a quote made by the famous 16th century English scientist, Sir Francis Bacon. And all smart and wise people should believe that too.

Other than it can be useful for enlightenment and technology, it can also be used to influence people as knowledge is a pillar of leadership. Please note that this article is based on my hard deep thinking and experience.

The name of the game about influencing is telling the influencees*  that ”I got your back”.  Influencing is all about assuring people that your idea is good and safe. A retired author, Terry R. Bacon, expressed in his book, The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence, that knowledgeable people are more than three times more likely to be influential than unknowledgeable ones. That’s why, knowledge plays a crucial part in explaining your idea telling why your idea is ideal. The more information you put into your speech, the more effective it will be. It’s best to make the speech a combination of general and non-general knowledge- That way, people psychologically know you’re intelligent in every aspect regardless whether you truly are. The influence value is also based on the idea itself like what I said in the first sentence of the third paragraph.

Learning from the past is at least half as good as learning from experience.  This is where the ‘story-telling’ technique comes in handy. By ‘story’ I mean a story from the past. For example, when you’re giving a speech on war, tell stories about the greatest battles in history like Hannibal’s army against the Roman republic in the Battle of Cannae, or that extraordinary feature in history where Napoleon was wanted and called out to the soldiers ordered to arrest him ”Here I am. Kill your emperor if you wish.”. In one voice, soldiers of the 5th called out: ”Vive L’Empereur!”.

The tactic makes the influencee more bound to you, generating familiarity between the two parties. The more the influencees are familiar with you, the more social both parties get, and the more effective is your speech.

Another reason is that knowledgeable people are able to counterstatment and counterexample another person’s statement. When doing either one of these, it simultaneously expose the flaw of another person- which makes people who listen to the conversation think you are flawless, thus, making you more influential OR makes people believe and trust you more, making you more influential. These are used in a discussion, debate, or an argument.

Let’s say Aaron says to Billy: ”All the great sailors and navigators are from Europe like De Gama, Columbus, and Magellan.”. Then Charlie interferes:”There’s a great sailor from Asia, that’s the 14th century Ming Admiral Cheng Ho. He sailed to East Africa, Arabia, India, Indonesia, and modern-day Thailand.”.  By now, Billy has more tendency to listen to Charlie because he detected a flaw in Aaron’s speech.

When influencing , facts and substance comes in handy too. Knowledgeable people are able to speak with facts and substance, making their speech more firm and confident. It also erases the aspect of ”I think” and ”maybe” which makes influencees hesitant hearing the speech.

Knowledge is a power that must not be overlooked. One who seeks this power seeks the ability  to change the world.

How about you? What do you think about the effects of knowledge in the world of influencing? Write your comments in the comments section below.

*person whom you are trying to influence.

Photo credit: Beacherry via / CC BY-NC-SA

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