About This Episode
Today, our guest is pretty stellar. René Rodriguez is a neuroinnovator, entrepreneur, mentor, keynote speaker, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of the book Amplify Your Influence.
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, a SUCCESS magazine podcast, René walks us through how entrepreneurs all over the world and in all industries can improve their personal brand by elevating their message through a simple thing: incorporating your own values and beliefs into personal stories.
Hidden Drivers of Influence
For 28 years, René dove into the question of “How can I improve my influence?” And the more he looked into it, the more he realized that all of our actions are driven by motivations of unconscious origins. He called those motivators “hidden drivers of influence.”
“That scared me and excited me at the same time,” René shares. “Scared, because you think you’re in control of everything that happens, and you think you’re consciously making decisions, then you realize there are all these hidden factors at play here—the hidden drivers. But it excited me because you can actually be [of] influence and be part of those hidden drivers for others.”
To understand what these hidden drivers are, we need to go on a self-reflective journey and be more aware of who we are, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what beliefs motivate our behaviors and thought patterns.
When it comes to influencing others, the end goal is to elicit behavior and make people act based on the message and value that you deliver. Understanding your own hidden drivers helps you understand what might be motivating your audience, and in turn, gives you more clarity on how you can increase your influence on your audience.
“Behavior drives us all,” René says. Our behaviors lead to results, and usually, in both business strategic planning and in life, we keep doing the behaviors that lead to positive results we like, and try to change the behaviors that turn into negative results we want to change.
The problem with this logic, however, is that when humans try to change behaviors, we typically react with resistance. Why? Because our beliefs drive our behaviors, it is human nature to stick to those beliefs and try to live them out our whole lives. It is not easy to change both beliefs and behaviors, but it is possible.
This is where influence comes in.
How to Amplify Your Influence?
When it comes to marketing, branding is important. And for most entrepreneurs, our brand is also our personal brand. We stake our name and reputation on the businesses we build. That’s why our values and messaging take center stage.
So, how can you communicate more effectively and influentially? René simplifies it for us.
“Frames, narratives, and beliefs construct our social reality,” he says. Good marketing is utilizing frames and narratives (your storytelling) to influence people’s beliefs. “When it [my beliefs] starts to own how I view the world, my behavior follows,” René adds. And as mentioned earlier, eliciting behavior is the goal of influence.
To tell better stories that serve your brand, you begin with the frame.
René illustrates this with a quick word-association exercise. What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear “used-car salesman”? We probably have different words that come to mind. If we had a prior bad experience with a used-car salesman, the word we think of might be negative, like "sleazy,” because our frame of reference is negative. And for others with positive frames of reference, the word that comes to mind might be positive.
“When you mention a profession, we are triggering frames of reference that we are not in control of,” René says. “If I speak without frame, I force my listener to construct the reality based on their frames of reference, which I have no control over and no insight into.”
If you provide a frame first by telling a story about a “used-car salesman,” you provide context and a new frame of reference for your audience that they can understand. It can be a personal story, an anecdote, or humor. Something that lowers their defenses and allows them to open up to your message.
You drive the narrative with a frame of your choosing, and the narrative could be a moral, a lesson, or a punchline—something that makes it powerful and moving. If you use a personal story as a frame and end it with your vision or your values, and connect where you were and how you got to where you are now, you deliver your ethos—and that is credibility.
René sums it up in 3Ps: “If you could predict a certain behavior or response, you should do something to preempt it in order to prevent it.”
Start with your ethos, your origin story. Tell signature stories that support your values. Signature stories are everyday things that occur in your life that are, in René’s words, “as unique to you as your signature.”
But those stories are not influential yet. The last piece is to deliver your tie down, which answers the question of what that story means to you.
By tying your frame and narrative to your belief or value that serves your influence objective—your reason for telling the story—your message shifts from just being powerful and moving, to becoming influential.
If your frame and narrative are a big gun, your tie-down is your target.
To elevate your message, you need three things: Frame. Message. Tie down. It is the last part that creates the influence. It’s what makes your audience want to take action. But you can’t land the story properly if you don’t begin with the right frame and don’t connect it to where you are now and establish credibility.
If you want to hear more about how to amplify your influence, listen to the podcast. René and Tristan do a lot of on-the-spot exercises to illustrate these steps.
Follow René Online
You can also order his book, Amplify Your Influence, on Amazon.
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.