Influence is all about you
While working with my clients, a recurring topic is influence. People direct or expect others will rally their point of view. There is a misconception about Influence and that if we experience limited influence it is because people are not willing to change or to follow a cause or a leader.
Influence has nothing to do with others and everything to do with your mindset.
If you do not get the results you expect, change your expectations and challenge the way you have been doing things. Influence is mostly happening when you simply choose to BE. Authenticity and alignment lead to influence.
As a coach I am also influencing without authority. I am in the business of building trust.
Preparing the soil
If you want to grow your influence start by exploring what your expectations are and position yourself in the shoes of the people you want to influence.
Would you experience any resistance in this particular situation if you were not the “boss”? What would you expect in return for your investment or engagement? What would be the traits and qualities of the person able to influence you?
Fertilizing the ground
At this stage you might have already noticed what might be the limitation of your current approach and see how you could adjust your behavior to increase your level of influence. But before going there, we want to assist you to build strong foundations and create a robust framework/environment. If you implement the change now, without preliminary work, you might be perceived as manipulative and get the opposite of what you try to achieve. People are used to who you are and your way of doing things, it is important to acknowledge you had to revisit your approach and to explain them why you are adjusting your behavior. This will bring authenticity and authenticity leads to trust.
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You feel you will show weakness? In this case you might not be ready yet to influence others. Mindset agility and emotional intelligence are traits necessary to engage, to develop a strong ego who define itself by its own set of values vs a weak ego who defines itself by the values and expectations of others.
Who you are and who you are willing to become matters in this process. Owning who you are will lead you naturally to increased influence while hiding and living your life according to others expectations and perceptions will ultimately require you to direct people to do what you want instead of influencing them.
Planting the seeds
This is the perfect time to plant your seeds, to implement the change, to shift your mindset and experience the difference. When you want to influence utilize curiosity, open ended questions, and genuinely listen to the answers and suggestions you are getting. Regardless of the message you want to share, it is important for the individuals you want to influence to feel valued.
It might sometimes require courage to listen to the pain or dissatisfaction of some of your loved ones or team members, meanwhile, it is normal and when you are genuine and caring, they will judge the situation and not the messenger.
How does it feel to be supported instead of singled out when directing others? What are the responses you are getting now that you have establish a solid framework or reference for the people you are working with or living with?
Watering the plant
Influence does not happen only when a message must be delivered and received or a project completed. It is the practice of getting people involved and engaged, even when they are not part of the solution. Trust must be nurtured and constant.
How to Have More Influence at Work and in the Home as a Driven Woman
Do you want to increase your influence? Do you wish that people would listen to you and rally around your point of view? Influence has nothing to do with others and everything to do with our mindsets. If you do not get the result you expect, change your expectation and challenge the way you’ve been doing things.
Last year, I had opportunity to deliver and facilitate a workshop for Chick-fil-A and their 168 top franchisees. We were talking about how to lead and influence others without having any authority over them. Influence occurs when you simply choose to be authentic and aligned. It’s not about what you’re telling people. It’s not about what is written on your wall. The more authentic and aligned you are with what you say, the more influence you will have on others.
When you are authentic and aligned, people will trust you. They will not question your motives or intentions. They will support you and want to help you because that is who we are as human beings. We are social beings and we want to help each other.
Prepare the Soil: Explore Their Perspective
The first step of the process of planting the seeds of change is really about preparing the soil. This is a time where we have to explore. If you want to grow your influence, start by exploring what your expectations are and position yourself in the shoes of the people you want to influence.
For example, what would you expect in return for your investment or engagement in the situation if you were the person receiving the direction? Before expecting from others it would be wonderful for you if you could think about how you can give before expecting to receive and to influence.
Fertilize the Ground: Build a Foundation
At this stage, you might have already noticed the limitation of your current approach and seen how you could adjust your behaviour to increase your level of influence. But, before going on, please stop for a moment. We want you to build a strong foundation. If you start to implement a change without preliminary work, you might be perceived as manipulative and the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish because people are used to who you currently are and your way of doing things. It’s really important for you to revisit your approach and explain why you are adjusting your behaviour. This will bring authenticity and authenticity leads to trust.
At this point, who you are and who you are willing to become matters most. Owning who you are will lead you naturally to increase your level of influence.
Plant the Seed: Shift Your Mindset
When you want to influence, utilize courtesy. Offer open-ended questions and genuinely listen to the answers and suggestions you are getting. This is the part where you want to give your attention. Regardless of the message you want to share, it’s important for the individuals you want to influence to feel valued.
How does it feel to be supported instead of singled out? What is the response you’re getting now that you have established a solid framework of reference for the people you are working with? I would love for you to record in the next few weeks the difference in your mindset and framework of reference. How does that impact the result you’re getting and your level of influence?
Water the Plants: Open the Floor
Influence doesn’t happen only when a message must be delivered and received or a project completed. It is a practice of getting people involved and engaged. If not, people will feel that you are just a manipulative leader. I encourage you to practice influence every single day. Open the floor to conversation instead of telling people what they can do. What is their opinion? What would they see as an option? Give them the opportunity to be part of the conversation. You might even be surprised to see your productivity level increase.
Trust must be nurtured and constant so you can actually increase your level of influence.
Prune the Leaves: Make Changes as Needed
If you feel that you are going back to yourself, journal about it and talk about it with one of your peers. Call me, call a coach, and decide what is still bothering you or limiting you in being totally influential. Always trying to go back to put yourself in the shoes of others.
Harvest: Practice and Implement
This is not something that happens overnight. I would love for you to take a few weeks and to practice a little bit more every single day. Be more of who you are and be more open to ask open-ended question with your teams. Be curious, genuinely curious. If you feel that you might be wasting your time because it takes a little bit longer to influence than to direct at first, think about it twice.
I am really excited for you because I see many of you ready to practice. Every single day you must do something that will lead you to be more influential and nurture trust.