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Aspects of Influencing People

Dooyeweerd's aspects can be useful in helping us separate out the various aspects of influencing people. This might help us analyse or plan.

(Print this table if you wish.)

Examples of Aspects of Influencing People
to do with ..
Questions you might ask Notes and examples This calls for Personal notes
Quantitative aspect:
Discrete amount
How many people are you trying to influence? Can be exact number or 'few', 'many'; Directly? Indirectly?          
Spatial aspect:
Simultaneous extended existence
How are they placed with respect to you? Can be proximal or distal.
Kinematic aspect:
Flowing movement
Are their beliefs etc. moving?
Physical aspect:
Forces, energy, mass
Ask no questions in this aspect. Force, energy, intertia, etc. in influencing are only metaphors for other aspects below, and are better dealt with directly in those aspects.
Biotic/organic aspect:
Life, organism
Should you influence someone who is ill? Health in all.
Sensitive/psychic aspect:
Sensing and responding
Feeling, emotion
Can they see and hear you well?
How are they feeling? Mental state?
Sensitivity to their mental state.
Analytical aspect:
Distinction, concepts
Abstraction, logic
Have your ideas clear, separating important from less important.
Ensure that any arguments you use are sound.
Clear thinking in influencer
Formative aspect:
Deliberate shaping
Planning, techniques
You are trying to shape people.
Have you planned well? Are your techniques of influencing effective?
Have you understood their history: how they came to be what they are.
e.g. their beliefs, commitments, thoughts, decisions, actions Flexibility and skill in influencer.
Lingual aspect Expressing in words and other symbols
How articulate are you? Are you using more than words?
What language are you using?
e.g. diagrams, gestures, pictures, demonstrations
Not just national language, but level of language within it, and register of words and phrases.
Articulate, adaptable influencers
Social aspect:
Roles, status
How is your relationship with them?
What respective roles do you each have?
What difference in status?
e.g. friendly, hostile.
e.g. take account of their and your organisational roles.
Influencing higher, equal and lower status people requires different approaches.
Respect for the other.
Economic aspect:
Frugality, resources; Management
How much time do you have?
What other resources might you draw upon?
Careful management by the influencer.
Aesthetic aspect:
Is your influence in orchestral harmony with all else?
Are they bored or interested?
Can you lighten the situation, e.g. with humour?
Take everything into account, though not slavishly.
If they find it interesting, they are more likely to listen.
Lighten with humour, play, laughter, leisure
A pleasant sense of the whole in the influencer.
Juridical aspect:
'Due', appropriateness;
Rights, responsibilities
Is the influence you want to bring onto them appropriate?
What rights and responsibilities do you and they have?
Also: Apply appropriateness to all the aspects above
Appropriate to them, yourself, the situation in which you both live.
Don't do injustice.
Apply to, e.g. appropriate plans, language, relationships, roles, resources, style, humour
A commitment to justice and appropriateness for all.
Ethical aspect:
Attitude, Self-giving love
Why are you trying to influence them: for your own selfish ends or for the real good of them and others? This is important. If they feel that you are trying to influence them for your own selfish ends, they will tend to resist, and even if they succumb, it will be with mere lip service. Bad, selfish attitude breeds bad, selfish attitudes, like the plague. Gentleness and generosity in the influencer.
Pistic/Faith aspect:
Faith, commitment, belief;
Vision of who we are
The most effective influencing is when they come to fully believe in what you believe in, and commit themselves to it.
Have you a sound, healthy vision of who you and they are, and of the context you both share?
Is the influence you are trying to bring upon them truly meaningful, especially in the eyes of (the True) God?
Mere slavish obedience to you is not really effective, especially in the long run.
Never underestimate the importance of internalised and long-term influence.
"Ultimate Reality" if you don't like the idea of God.
Humility in the influencer.

This page is part of a collection that discusses application of Herman Dooyeweerd's ideas, within The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Email questions or comments would be welcome.

Written on the Amiga and Protext.

Copyright (c) 2012 Andrew Basden. You may use this material as long as you acknowledge the author and provide the web page URL with every use.

Created: 11 July 2012 Last updated: