Everyone influences somebody. A parent affects a child, a boss, their employee, or nurturing friends and family. Whatever your role is in any of your relationships, influence is occurring by both parties.
Many think influencing another is about persuading them to do something you want or agreeing with you. But influence has a subtle side. You know the saying about being the sum of the five people you spend the most time. It’s about the impact these people have on you and you on them.
Influence is about how others affect and change you by their presence, beliefs, mindsets, ethics, and words. It’s a process of how being around someone can shape changes in you because of your relationship with them and vice versa.
This idea means every interaction you have with another has the potential to influence you or them. And over time, either of you can persuade the other about something based on that relationship. This change can come from a new set of priorities and seeing their perspective or clarity about the situation.
So when you are being authentic and shining your inner light consistently around others, you’re positively influencing them. Why? Because being yourself attracts others to you, and they want to be more authentically them when you’re together.
This trust is the crux of your influence. It’s based on your solid bonds with the other and your consistent behavior based on you keeping your word. You affect others just by being authentically you.
Stars don’t shine because they want to be seen. They shine because they are stars. ~ Alexander Den Heijer
Why You Are Influencing Others
So even if you aren’t trying to persuade others, how are you influencing those around you? Well, it’s as simple as hearing them with understanding. So yes, actively listening to the other to understand their point of view will cause them to look at you with an influential eye. Why? Just like you want to be heard and understood, so does everyone else. And when defenses are relaxed, people are more open to what you have to say.
When you’re looking for the best resolution to an issue instead of competing with others to see whose idea will win, others know you’re about solving the problem. They will see your efforts in collaboration versus competition. The long-term impact is where influence and credibility arise.
You’re a living example of what authenticity looks like, which is inspiring and causes you to influence others. As you accept your strengths and weaknesses, acknowledge your missteps and make course corrections, and respond with love in all situations, you’re showing those around you how to do the same.
Yes, all you have to do to influence another is to be yourself. Live your best life, and others will watch, listen, and learn from your wins and your missteps. It’s a responsibility many don’t recognize because they aren’t aware like you are.
As you control your actions, reframe your perspective, and encourage those in your life, you realize leadership isn’t about a role or position. Instead, it’s about the ability to influence another positively.
Never underestimate the influence you have on others. ~ Laurie Buchanan
Be A Force For Good
Whether you call it influence or leadership, it’s about using this impact on others to bring more light into the world. It’s about making those around you feel good about themselves to inspire others in their lives, which causes a ripple effect.
When you’re serving others to help them grow into their authentic selves, you use your influence for their highest good. Support those around you and give them what they need, whether it’s a listening ear, a different perspective, or a boost in self-confidence. It’s caring about them and their dreams as an extension of your love.
Your ultimate goal is to help build up the people in your life as an act of love. You do this through your words, actions, and consistency in their lives. You can be the rock they stand on when they need a boost. Or the person they thank for believing in them during the darker days.
This force is the influence you have that fosters enduring results and growth in those around you. These relationships are the ones that are lasting because you’ve attracted like-minded people into your tribe. So you can all grow and encourage one another in good times and when there are grave times.
It’s not about talent, intelligence, or luck to make a powerful and positive difference in another’s life. Being fully present with another and being authentic with those in your life allows you to affect them. So use this influence as a force for good.
If you are given a chance to be a role model, I think you should always take it because you can influence a person’s life in a positive light, and that’s what I want to do. That’s what it’s all about. ~ Tiger Woods
Characteristics Of A Positive Influencer
To positively influence another, you must be intentional in your words and actions. For example, by consciously choosing your comments, you are deliberate about how the other hears you. It’s not about being calculating but sensitive to their emotional state and matching their tone. This way, they see you understand their viewpoint and issue. Remember, words have power, and the wrong words with the right intention still cause harm, so be mindful of what you say and do.
When you authentically connect with people, they open up to you and allow you to influence their perspectives. Why? Because they realize you are choosing to include them in your life. This inclusion opens the doors to trust. It allows the egoic fear of separation to melt away because they know they aren’t alone.
Resiliency is another characteristic of an influencer. Why? Because you know life doesn’t go as planned. So when the surprise occurs, you know how to reframe the circumstances to look for the lesson and find a solution. You also will share with others how you overcame so they can, too.
Growth-minded people influence others because they are constantly learning and sharing their new knowledge with everyone they know. This self-education is how they stay ahead. It’s also why they are humble. Why? Because they know there is always more to learn, and old ways can be improved. This passion for learning attracts others, and their enthusiasm is contagious, and you want to learn more too.
Influence is when you are not the one talking, yet your words fill the room; when you are absent, your presence is felt everywhere. ~ TemitOpe Ibrahim
Ways To Authentically Shine Your Inner Light
Here are nine ways to influence others positively.
- Listen with the understanding as the goal. Then, when you consciously listen to another, you will know all you need to help the person. Not only do you hear the words, give attention to the tone, but also to what’s unspoken. By doing so, you allow the person to feel fully supported and understood. Being seen and heard, no matter the outcome, is vital for everyone to feel accepted as they are.
- Serve others by sharing your knowledge. Everyone has something they can share about what they have learned during your life experience. When you share it, either in person or on social media, you can inspire others through your everyday interactions with them. In addition, sharing your life lessons should be part of how you show compassion to the world.
- Lead by example. Those who inspired you were the example you watched to help you improve your life. Now, pay it forward by being a living example to those around you. This intention means that you know others are watching you, and you want to show them how to live with grace.
- Live your truth unapologetically. What I mean by this is not to be a hypocrite. People want to trust that you live by what you say. So what you do in private matters. Have integrity that shows your morals, ethics, reliability, and honesty because that is who you authentically are when you’re alone. Don’t forget to follow through and keep your promises. Your word is your bond.
- Encourage those around you. Look for opportunities to praise someone when they did well. Or skip the criticism when someone takes a misstep and instead reassure them to try again. Consciously celebrate other’s contributions and efforts in front of others.
- Choose kindness over winning. Although this may go against what your egoic mind would want you to do, kindness far outweighs winning in relationships. Remember, connections with others aren’t about competition or being right. Validation of who you are doesn’t come from anything external, so winning the point only causes a wound rather than creating a bond.
- Show genuine interest. Engaging with others by having a natural curiosity in what they are doing allows you to connect with them authentically. This bond opens them up to hearing your perspective, asking for help, and sharing with you.
- Know your circle of influence. Understand what your unique gifts are and offer those to the people around you. You can’t be all things to everyone, so focus on what you are passionate about and serve others from that soulful place. Start with your tribe and allow it to grow from there naturally.
- Look for opportunities. Open your eyes to the possibilities around you each day. Everyone you are in a relationship with you can influence. Your smile or kind gesture can even affect strangers. Awareness of your shining light is all it takes to affect someone.
If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give–the ability to influence. ~ Shannon L. Alder
Being An All-Around Leader In The Work Place
These are the type of leaders who lead up to the top levels of the organization. They lead across the company among their peers. And they lead down directly to their team members and others outside of their influence in the business.
A versatile leader leads through influence, not through their position, nor through any power they may or may not have. Some people believe a person can’t lead unless they are at the top of the totem pole. They cannot recognize that genuine leaders lead even if they are at the bottom. You can choose to better any organization and help fulfill a better vision by serving as an all-around leader.
How to lead up. Some people silently wonder if they can help their supervisor. Here are ways you can support your leadership, add value to your organization, and distinguish yourself from the rest of the team by doing your part with excellence.
- Direct yourself by learning self-management.
- Lighten your executive’s load by being a team player.
- Be willing to do what others won’t by having a whatever-it-takes attitude.
- Do more than manage a project; lead it.
- Invest in the relationships by consciously connecting with others and cheering them on.
- Be prepared for interactions by adding value and taking part.
- Know when to push and when to back off by learning to read the atmosphere.
- Become a go-to person who can step in and make a difference.
- Be better tomorrow than you are today by having a growth mindset.
- Be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Influence is our inner ability to lift people up to our perspective. ~ Joseph Wong
How to lead across. Some people fall into the trap of trying to manage their team without influencing them. There are six contributing factors to emerging as a natural leader and not just a position or the loudest person in the room.
- Your character as a leader will filter into and through the entire group, and it can be positive or negative.
- The right kinds of relationships with the right people matter because they are the people who get things done, who are forward-thinking and understand the bigger picture.
- You need to be knowledgeable about the organization and not just your particular area to influence others.
- Recognize the possibilities. You need to see past the current situation and see what can be.
- Remember that you have already overcome other obstacles as a group, and together the team can do it again.
- Your belief in the team, enthusiasm, and encouragement are what they need to succeed and thrive.
It’s not about being smart with your words; it’s about others becoming smart through them. ~ Amit Abraham
How to lead downward. Your team is where you have the most influence, as you have direct and consistent communication. Here are seven principles of leading down to your group.
- Spending time with your personnel is how you build relationships and influence your team.
- Confident leaders respect and value each team member as individuals through the relationship they have built with them. As a result, they want to follow you.
- Your help in the personnel’s development will influence how they perceive you.
- Discovering the right person for the right situation means you need to have a relationship with them to determine their strengths.
- Leaders show the team what to do by setting an example.
- When the team buys into the shared vision based on your influence, it enhances their performance in the perceived shared success.
- Giving praise for things you’d like to see again will guarantee that team members continue to strive for success.
An example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. ~ Albert Schweitzer
Moving Forward Positively Influencing Others
Influence occurs through appealing to someone’s logic by presenting facts, emotions through empathy or collaborative efforts by asking them to take part. Despite your authority, working effectively with others comes down to your ability to influence someone based on your authentic relationship with them.
Humanity wants positive people who can influence others. So everyone is looking for an effective communicator who can build trust, collaborate through compassion, and elevate everyone to a higher level to make this world a better place.
I’m describing you, right? You care for those in your life and choose to speak your truth. Without realizing it, you are inspiring those around you. And your influence can be crucial to the growth of the surrounding people. So set a good example because you are being watched.
You control the message you send to others as you live your life. Be the person whose trust in you compels them to think and change something in their life for the better.
Because everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls, our influence is determined by the quality of our being. ~ Dale Turner
Do you need to understand better how you are influencing others? Do you need help to be a better example for the people in your life? If so, please reach out to me at TerriKozlowski.com, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.