‘Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love.’-Mahatma Gandhi
Having influence is the ability to shape other people’s beliefs & behaviours. It means you can get people to believe in your ideas, buy from you, follow you or act.
As a career coach, the art of influence, is a skill set that many of my clients’ really want develop, so they can effectively persuade and influence others.
People want more influence because they feel it’s important in order to lead effectively or to have a successful relationship. Unfortunately, many don’t know how to get it.
In fact, sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to how we ‘think’ about influence.
Here are some of the excuses people have shared in the past as to why they do not have influence with others
- I am introvert so I can’t have influence.
- I don’t like trying to persuade people.
- I’m not a people person.
- I don’t know how to sell myself.
- I lack confidence.
Do these excuses sound familiar?
What do you think is the negative consequence of these excuses?
These excuses are holding you back to becoming more influential in your personal life and career.
Did you know there is no connection between personality and influence?
You do not need to be the most charismatic person in the room or be a sales and marketing expert to be an influencer.
In my experience, influence builders have less stress, better sleep habits, more meaningful relationships and are more fulfilled in their work.
This article will give you methods to boost your influence. The techniques I will provide, will not require you to buy anything or make drastic changes in your life. Instead, they can be incorporated into your lifestyle and can be installed as new habits over a period of time.
Here Are The 4 Steps To Become A Positive Influencer
- YOU MUST LOOK THE PART
What do you look like when you meet people? It could be ‘face to face’ or on video. Are you smiling or frowning or indifferent? Are your looking down towards the floor or are you looking in their eyes? Are you slouching over or are your shoulders back?
More importantly, what are your ENERGY levels when you enter a room, a chat room, a boardroom, or party?
HOW DO PEOPLE SEE YOU?
If you have vitality on the outside, ‘like minded’ people will be attracted to you. Positive people will want to be around you. This positive feeling on the outside, will fuel you’re mindset and set optimistic behaviours.
For more thoughts on how to boost your energy levels, visit my blog on victorypivot.com called “10 habits to boost your energy now”
You do not need to be outrageously outgoing like Tony Robbins or an energy vampire to have people see you as uplifting. What they see is someone who takes care of their energy levels and has a fully engaged presence.
Become aware of your body language during the next several encounters with individual or groups of people.
If you want to influence others you WILL NEED to look the part.
Make a small adjustment in how you show up in people’s lives, and this will start the influence building journey.
‘You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people, than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
I recommend Dale Carnegie’s book, originally published over 60 years ago called ‘How to Win Friend and Influence People’. These principles and methods are rock solid and have survived the test of time.
- THEY MUST FEEL UNDERSTOOD
No matter what your personality type, you can develop more influence in the world than you can imagine.
Influence happens when we are mindful and become intentional about our conversations.
When I ask my clients, WHY do you want more influence? They share the following reasons:
- They want others to LISTEN to them.
- To BUY from them.
- To LEARN from them.
- To be INSPIRED by them.
These are all great reasons to increase your influence.
My one piece of advice is to start being intentional about your behaviour.
Begin thinking of generating influence in this way:
People will be influenced by you…When they feel UNDERSTOOD by you.
Instead, we are always struggling to be heard.
Always talking and trying to prove our point or worth.
By talking more, we think we will prove to people that we are right. And if we are right, they will eventually ‘buy from us or ‘listen to us’. This selfish line of thinking will not create influence.
People are more likely to act and or follow you when they feel understood by you.
You can show others that you understand them, by using phrases like:
- I’ve been where you are.
- I’ve encountered or overcame the same obstacles you have.
Understanding how others think is the foundation to building influence.
- YOU MUST SHOW THEM THAT YOU’RE REALLY LISTENING
To understand others, you need to really listen to what they are revealing about themselves.
You may be thinking, no problem, listening will be an easy technique to master to gain influence.
The truth is that listening deep and thoughtfully is an art.
You must be mindful and intentional with your questions and not focus on your own emotions or making your emotions understood.
When you are having an intentional discussion, you are not waiting for someone to take a breath so you can insert your opinion or feedback.
You must let them feel understood.
Then, you will gain trust and buy in.
In my experience, you will not gain influence if you are the one who is doing all the talking.
When I listen to clients during my coaching sessions or as a leader of a team, I am looking to answer these 7 critical questions:
- What is their pain or paint points?
- What is their fear?
- What are their stressors?
- Why do they think that way?
- What are their goals?
- What are their limiting or empowering beliefs?
- How can I help with their problem? Or put them in a position or on track to their objectives while still getting what I need?
- In your journal, jot down these 7 critical questions and let them be your guide during your next formal conversation at work (one on one or a team discussion).
- After the conversation, write down the answers to the 7 critical questions, that you have uncovered through deep listening.
- If you are struggling to get them right, it’s OK.
- Next time be more mindful, curious, and thoughtful with your listening and questioning.
- Remember, being influential is when someone else feels understood, not when they understand you.
For more information about building your influence, visit Entrepreneur and Best-Selling Author, Marie Forleo. Her video called ‘8 Ways to be Persuasive Without Being Slimy’ is fun and impactful:
- TO GAIN MORE INFLUENCE YOU MUST SHOW THAT YOU CARE
People are influenced most by those who they trust, admire, and believe care for them.
I believe that caring is the deepest level of human emotion.
If someone does not believe you care about them, it will be difficult to gain influence.
Take out your journal and begin the following exercise:
Can you name the top 2 people, that had the most positive influence in your life?
Once identified, think about those 2 people, and answer the following questions:
- What, specifically, made each person so influential to you?
- What was the greatest lesson each person taught you about life?
- What values or traits did they inspire you to embody in your own life?
In most cases, the 2 people may have a lot in common.
My clients have shared that these influential people listened and asked thoughtful questions, which made them feel understood and valued.
In addition, they felt genuinely cared for.
Their influencers became their champions.
They were role models because they had the passion and ability to inspire. They had vitality, energy, and a presence.
Use your role models, mentors, and coaches as symbols of influence. Study why others want to ‘buy from them’, be their ‘friends’, ‘learn’ from them or are ‘inspired’ by them.
In most cases they will have the same qualities and behaviours in common.
Again, you do not need to be an extrovert or become charismatic or the center of attention to have influence.
Building influence can compel you to exert a softer and more thoughtful kind of power.
In summary, you can build more influence by:
- Examining how you show up.
- Genuinely understanding people.
- By listening deeply and being curious.
- By Being engaged in the moment.
- By caring about people.
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These tools will help you grow, reach higher heights so you can become the best version of you!
I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder