The sale, or engagement, or support, or participation is always more determined by those we wish to influence than we “influencers” would like to imagine. In other words, our value lies not in our product or service or idea, but in their values.
This is largely due to the fact that we filter our decisions through a values hierarchy that is unique to our personality and experience.
Some of us have family as our Number 1 value, whereas others, tend to think of family as people we visit in the holidays… and more out of a sense of obligation and guilt than of pleasure. If you haven’t heard from a family member since December… well… it’s you!
However, if we want to be influential and engaging, we need to stop judging the values of others and learn to frame our objectives, our goals, our arguments in terms of their values.
I became a White Ribbon Ambassador and Board Director for this very reason. I, as a man, have never experienced the violence of a man against a woman, nor have I ever witnessed it in my own family life. And yet, I spend a good part of my week campaigning to end it’s prevalence in our society.
I do this because, rather than telling me about their work, their world view, their programs, they demonstrated how women’s safety was a man’s issue… how it was, in fact, my issue.
A fact illustrated by a simple but compelling headline, written in an unremarkable font on a plain B&W poster by Tom McElligott and Nancy Rice. It simply reads, “One in four women will be raped in her lifetime. Will it be you Mother? Your Sister? Your Daughter? Or you Wife?”
This simple poster powerfully illustrates how great leaders and persuasive business people drive willing participation by framing their world view – in ours!