How to Influence People Around You

If you want to influence people, give them the right environment.  Of this there is no question.  Most recently, a study confirmed what we all knew about how they cleaned up New York City.  This line from The Globe and Mail a few days ago:

Urban decay is contagious because people generally behave badly when others in their neighbourhood do, say Dutch researchers whose article was published yesterday in the online journal Science.

This principle applies in the home and in the workplace, too.  If you leave things all over the house lying around in a mess or allow employees to get sloppy in their work habits, expect more and more of the same.  You can’t tell your kids to clean up, if their context is a mess.  OK, you can tell them, but it won’t get you anywhere.

On the other hand, if you want people to take pride in their work or keep the house tidy, apply yourself to the task first.  Pick up stuff around the house when others are not around.  And when they are, solicit their help in tidying up.  The tidier you keep it, the tidier they will, too.  And, the more attention they will focus on cleanliness and following rules and generally responsible behavior.

By the way, this is the same psychology I have repeatedly mentioned with regard to smiling.  The best way to brighten up your environment is to smile.  Your smile will be contagious.  And before you know it, you will notice that all those grumpy people you kept bumping into have given way to smiling, happy people.  Try not to bump into them.

Now imagine your home and your workplace.  Neat.  Clean.  Tidy.  And full of smiling faces.


  1. hi! Thanks for this great article. I believe that whatever kind of energy we use up at the beginning of our day, weather positive or negative energy, this truly has an effect on other people around us. So it is much wiser to start positively everyday and spread that energy throughout the day.

  2. Thanks for this article. Positive behavior makes or breaks man’s life. This world really needs positive people in order to save its dying nature. There are fewer that has courage to turn the world otherwise. In fact, peace and power starts within us. But it needs to be harnessed and discover the conquering self within. That’s why I appreciate how Life Coaching is a crucial concern nowadays because it aids us to overcome this world.

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