Despite what many people believe, influence is not something reserved for those with power, position or money. It is, however, a very important factor in achieving these things – and much more. Our ability to influence the people around us can play a big role in our effectiveness and satisfaction at work and at home. It helps us achieve our career goals, build strong teams, lead people, resolve differences and deal with customers and coworkers. It helps us raise our children and interact with our friends.
There are five elements that we can control to increase our influence:
Our ability to influence others is impacted greatly by our ability, and more importantly our willingness, to listen and learn. The better we understand the people around us, the more influence we have.
Genuinely caring about the people around you is critical to your ability to influence. You will never have influence with people who believe you don’t care about them.
When people begin to believe that you are capable, you begin to earn their respect. That respect, in turn, increases your influence. Never stop learning. Never stop improving.
People place almost as great a value on confidence as they do competence. Most people, in fact, equate the two. Being able to project an air of confidence is critical to influencing others. How do you project confidence when you’re not confident? Develop an outward focus – which makes you less focused on yourself – and more on those around you.
People like to be around happy people. Having a good sense of humor and a positive outlook on life are irresistibly attractive qualities in people.
Want to become more influential? Focus on improving each each of these, and see how you’re doing.