People who know how to influence friends are usually the leaders of the pack. They’re the ones who walk ahead of the group, the ones who aren’t afraid to speak up first. However, there are also times when the person you least expect to be the leader is the one who manipulates all the strings.

Both types may be poles apart and yet their strategies have the same end goal. If you want to know their strategies on how to influence friends, read on!

Influence Technique # 1: Make Sound Suggestions.

A great way to exert your influence over your friends is by being the one who comes up with the best suggestions.

For example, when deciding where to eat for dinner, you can either be the first to say, “Let’s have dinner at X restaurant and then dessert over at Y café,” or you can wait until your friends throw a bunch of half-baked suggestions before swooping in with your own.

Once they see how decisive you can be (without being too controlling), they’ll end up turning to you whenever a decision needs to be made.

Influence Technique # 2: Know What Makes Them Tick.

One effective way on how to influence friends is by paying them a lot of attention. Know what they like and what they don’t like. Know their needs and their wants. Once you have all this information, you can use it to persuade them to do anything.

For example, if you know that Friend A likes dogs, you can use it to convince him or her to go to the annual country fair with you by saying that there would be an animal show there. Just make sure you're telling the truth, or you could lose your friend faster than you could say “sorry.”

Influence Technique # 3: Be the One Who Listens.

Being a good listener gives you automatic influential points. When people feel like they can trust you (and that’s what usually happens when you give them the chance to confide in you), they’re also more likely to trust your judgment. After all, they’ve already poured their heart and soul out to you.

So the next time your friend feels the need to talk about her lousy family life, listen. It just might pay off in the long run.

Learning how to influence friends can come quite in handy in the future. I’m not just talking about you having a say on this summer’s road trip. I’m talking about being able to use your persuasion skills in a more professional setting. The influence you have over your friends can transcend over to a meeting with your client or with your boss.

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