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How Can You Influence People During a Crisis? Part 2

Updated: May 5, 2020

Last week, I blogged about the art of influencing people. In part one of this three-part series, I discussed the importance of first understanding where people are coming from.

Understanding people makes YOU more effective at dealing with differences. It is also helpful to the other person, because when we feel understood, our defenses go down, we are more open to different ideas, and we are more open to making a change.

Part two of the art of influencing people is to compliment and praise or relate to them, so you can set them up to be influenced.

Photo by Émile Perron on Unsplash

Why is this important? Being able to influence people during a crisis is about how those people view you. Three key components are:

  1. I believe you.

  2. I respect you.

  3. I feel safe, e.g., I trust you.

It is important to note that respect is not about being liked. In this case, respect is about trust and feeling safe. In order to influence friends, family, colleagues or nations during a crisis, people need to believe what you are saying to them and they need to think that you are leading them to safety.

Influencing is an art, but it is one we are all capable of when we use the tools. Compliment and praise people. Do not shame, blame or criticize. Remember the old English adage, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”


Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D., MBA has a doctorate in psychology with an emphasis in transpersonal psychology. As a business leader with more than 30 years in corporate America managing crisis communications and brand reputation, Dr. Massey uses her business experience and psychological background to guide companies and executive teams through massive change.

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