John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, co-founders of KNP Communications, offer tips to cultivate influence at work, home and in social situations. / Mike Kemp / Getty Images
In Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential, John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, co-founders of Washington, D.C.-based KNP Communications, share tips for cultivating influence at work, at home and in social situations.
Stand up straight and smile.
This is “something most of us learned as kids, but it’s the most fundamental way to balance strength and warmth,” Kohut says. Adds Neffinger: “Rather than trying to scrunch your facial muscles around, think about how to be happy to be doing what you are doing.” Natural posture counts, too, Neffinger says: “In the military, they call it ‘at ease.’”
Find common ground.
No matter how far apart your viewpoint might be from the people you’re speaking to, “find something you can agree with them about,” Kohut says.
Own the space.
“In a place where you have privacy, raise your arms over your head like you won the lottery,” Kohut says, and give yourself a few minutes to stretch. “Your mind will listen to your body, and will change your blood chemistry so you feel more confident.”