Getting What You Want Done with Influence
With enough influence, you can do nearly anything, well at least you can get much more done in less time. Some people just seem born with the ability to convince others to help them get things done. But the rest of us, well we have to learn this skill.
There is good news! Unlike what some people might think, influence is a skill. Since it is a skill, that means with practice, feedback, and hard work you can improve. This is one area where having a growth mindset is very helpful for improvement.
Let’s face it, you can never have too much influence. More influence means more freedom to control your life and get the outcomes you want. You have more options when you have more influence and we all know that more choice means more freedom.
You see how influence impacts others every day. Those with the most influence are more visible, more successful, and seemingly the happiest. You can move toward having the same results as these people, it just takes effort. Having influence over others is largely a skill that can be developed.
Strategies to Develop Greater Influence
Begin a plan to cultivate influential friends. Consider that they don’t necessarily need to be the president of the United States of the Mayor of the City. Find and build friendships with those that have influence over areas that you have interests in.
If you love public speaking, then consider making friends with the head of the local toastmasters. If you want to have more influence on how the school is using the money from a fundraiser, volunteer to support the fundraiser.
Having influential friends can take you places. Let’s face it, people will try to convince you that being friends with the governor of your state can do more for you than making friends with the president of the PTA. BUT … if you want more influence at your kids’ school – the right answer is to spend more time with the PTA.
When your friends with the right influential person for your desire result, you gain more influence.
Build and Maintain a Large Network.
While the quality of your network matters, the size can matter, too. When you have a large group of people interested in your happiness and success, you have a lot of influence.
Also consider that a network isn’t just the number of individuals you have on your Facebook or LinkedIn page as friends. It is the number of individuals that you stay in contact with and that you consider how you might both exchange value for your mutual benefit.
Networking can be difficult for some people, especially those that are introverted. You can maintain your network by doing something as simple as scheduling 20 minutes once a week to just check in on those individuals that are already on your friends list.
Skills matter, too. Considering studying books on charisma and influence. I love “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – it is an oldy but a goody. Also look at books about sales; one of my favorite books about sales is “You can’t learn to ride a bike at a seminar.” There’s lots of information for those that are interested in learning how to persuade others.
When people trust you, you have a greater ability to influence them. Use every opportunity to demonstrate to others that you can be trusted. You do that by doing what you say you will do. Consider being open about your values and prove to the world that you live by them.
When you close the ‘say-do’ gap you are seen as much more trustworthy. People prefer being around those that they trust – it is just human nature.
Learn leadership skills.
Learn how to lead others. Good leaders find it easy to influence others. In fact, leadership is largely about how to influence others to buy into your ideas. Great leaders always have the power to be influential. A great book on leadership is “Good to Great.”
How much influence do you have in your life right now? What could you do if you had 10 times as much influence? What are you willing to do to become more influential?
Those that have a lot of influence are able to get things done quickly and easily. Having little to no influence requires a lot more time and effort.
Building influence is not unlike building a business. There are several factors that comprise influence. Start where you can and begin building your influence today.
If you are struggling with increasing your influence, find a coach or accountability partner. There are many more ways to increase your influence and they can help you.
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