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During a recent talk for CAFE (the Canadian Association of Family Enterprises) I made the comment that if you're finding it difficult to motivate those around you to have the same ambition and energy you do, there's a good chance that it's not them, it's you.  


Now before you get frustrated and unsubscribe, here me out. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders are influential, and they become influential by practicing the achievement of commonalitybased on adapting to individuality.


Sound complex? It's not and here's why. 


Today and everyday, how you react and respond to the people and events around you are influenced by your perceptions. Your perceptions are in turn unique to you, which means that it is rare that your perceptions (and in turn your responses and reactions to events around you) will align completely with others you interact with. 


In turn the greater your ability to find commonality by adapting to individuality, the greater your chances of influencing the people and environment that surround you.  


If you've ever observed a good politician (I know, it's a stretch), or a likeable car salesman (another stretch!), what you will find is that they are highly flexible in how they listen to, approach and respond to those they interact with. They place intense focus on understanding the individuality of those they interact with in order to find commonality and adapt to it.


Finding commonality is based on assessing five separate components as outlined in the graphic below. This is done in the form of questions that you can consider during (or prior to) an interaction with someone.  


Here are the questions: 


1. Life Experiences: What life experiences have influenced their perceptions of the world around them? 


2. Generational Differences: Based on their generation, what are their likes, dislikes and preferences?


3. Behavioral Preferences: What behavioral patterns can you spot and how might these influence their perceptions?  


4. Thought Patterns: What are their sensory experiences? How do they tend to filter their thoughts?


5. Social Environment: What are the attributes of the social environment that they exist in today? 


Sound overwhelming? It's not. Take it from someone who started their own business at the age of fourteen and sold cars at the age of twenty-one.

Practicing Influence Adaptation is a crucial component to improving the strength and value of your relationships and your business. 

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