The Power of Influence
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to have an innate talent for persuading others to think or act a certain way? While it’s true that some are born with this natural instinct, it is a learned behavior for many of us. You can learn it too. Leveraging your own power to influence others will help you go farther in achieving your goals, and at an exponentially faster pace.
Having influence means having more of your life within your control and more opportunities at your fingertips. Who wouldn’t want that? Like any other new skill, it will take time and practice, but you can enhance your ability to influence others. Start today using the strategies outlined below.
What to Learn
Spend some time on YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, or with your friendly neighborhood career coach to dig deeper into learning opportunities. To really up your influence game, focus on the following:
- Learn to Persuade: Persuasion is an art form. It ties into how likable and charismatic you are. It’s also linked to how good you are at selling a product, an idea, or a service. Pro tips – charisma often comes down to listening more than you talk; selling often comes down to listening to identify, and ultimately, solve a problem.
- Learn to Lead: A good leader is hard to find. Almost all of us have suffered through a bad boss at some point in our careers. Sometimes even people we enjoy working for lack basic leadership skills and therefore have difficulty managing a team or steering them through change. Work to develop your basic leadership skills now so you can influence teammates and even supervisors. The bonus is that you’ll be fit for the challenge as your star rises.
What to Earn
As you work on adding persuasion and leadership tools to your influence toolbox, you can maximize your impact daily by how you choose to live your life. Here are a couple of things to consider each morning as you decide how you’re going to ‘show up’ that day.
- Earn Trust: Without trust, there is no influence. Break trust, and you lose credibility. Strive every day to be someone others can rely on. Arrive on time, meet deadlines, and act with authenticity. Many people can sense when someone is putting on an act. Be sure that you mean the things that you say and follow through on your commitments.
- Earn Success: The higher you climb, the more influence you’ll have. This is true for so many reasons. For starters, a successful career means a higher paycheck. And it often comes with more people answering to you. Plus, success is attractive. More people will want to cultivate relationships with you. Also, they’ll be more inclined to offer assistance when called upon.
What to Build
Now that we’ve covered some of the building blocks, it’s time to use them all to build up our sphere of influence. For the strongest foundation, focus on the following three things.
- Build Wealth: A healthy financial picture gives you extraordinary economic power. With that comes the ability to use your funds to influence change in your community. You can support the causes that matter most to you or contribute to political campaigns for candidates whose views align with yours.
- Build Your Network: This is one place where both quantity and quality matter. Strong relationships that can get you ‘in the door’ of the places you want to be are valuable. And just as people will want to flock to you based on your success, you’ll want to forge connections with all the right movers and shakers. You’ll magnify your impact if you can learn to influence the influencers!
- Build Power: Simply put, power is “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.” You’ll grow in power by doing all of the above. With greater persuasion and leadership skills, with a job that’s higher up on the corporate ladder, and the trust and respect of those around you, you become powerful. With all that power, you’ll have far more control over your own destiny AND you will be able to serve as an agent of change, building a better world.
Review Your Progress
If this article has influenced you to work on the art of influence, make it part of your routine. Once a week, or even once a day, take a few minutes to review what you’ve done to increase your powers of influence and what you plan to do next.
And now that you know you can gain influence through wealth, connections, and your career, I hope you also know who to call if you need a little help shoring any of those things up. Please reach out today if I can be a good influence on you!