Are you being as influential as you could be?
If there’s anything that you need, or want to achieve, you must become influential because you'll probably need someone’s help accomplishing it.
Oprah, Richard Branson, James Cameron, Helen Mirren, Roger Federer, Sheryl Sandberg, Brene Brown, Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga have all needed help to be great in business so they can successfully achieve their goals.
So what does being influential mean?
Have you ever done something kind and generous for a complete stranger? Ever wondered why you did it? The way they looked, what they said, the way they made you feel…
What about we flip the coin; now think of a time when you may have gone out of your way not to be helpful to someone. Once again ever wondered why? Chances are, they rubbed you up the wrong way somehow so you didn’t want to help them.
What’s interesting to note is both scenes demonstrate influence! Both examples swayed the way you acted, reacted and behaved as a direct reflection of their influence. Now that’s powerful!
How about you? Do you influence people to want to help you, as if you’re a leader of what’s possible to achieve or do you influence people on the opposite spectrum more as a warning of what not to do? Or do you sit somewhere in between?
Whenever I'm teaching a masterclass on the 5 Keys to Being an Influential Leader, I ask my students and clients why they want to be influential the top three most common replies I hear are:
- I’m not good enough to make a massive enough contribution.
- My contribution/influence will not be valued
- Other people seem to have all the luck because I work hard and still miss out on cool opportunities
You’ll notice all of these statements come from a lack, fear, scarcity and desperation mentality. It’s because they feel like they don’t possess “it”
If this is you, you’re not alone.
When I was a TV producer, regardless of my status, I used to feel like I didn’t have a voice of influence, that no-one really took notice of what I had to say. Not the people I wanted anyway. That’s when I became curious and started researching the key factors that made someone influential from the inside out.
And I realized in most cases 80% of the trouble was caused by two things that went hand in hand:
- Lack of clarity as to why you want to be influential and what you want to influence
- Insufficient industry credibility meaning you are unsure as to why people should or would listen to you
The other 20% is caused by three things:
- Poor understanding of who you’ll need to become to be influential
- Poor understanding of the impact your presence already has
- Lack of awareness and rapport to know what results you are in fact achieving.
Let’s ponder the following questions:
- Why do you want to be influential and what will being influential give you?
- What won’t it give you?
- How will you use your influence to positively contribute to those around you and the planet on a whole?
It’s my belief we all want to be someone of influence. Whether it's in the playground, school, life or business. No matter your age, gender, race or religion you want to feel as if you matter and that somehow you make a difference.
A worthy distinction to bare in mind is the level of influence you want. For some of you, it might be important to be a person of influence on a grand scale having a world impact whereas for others you may be more interested in positively influencing those in your immediate circle – yourself, family, friends, community. The scale is not as important as your desire to make a positive contribution.
In fact, every influential person I know or watch from afar radiates these same 5 Keys To Influence. When you master them for yourself they will give you access to a sacred world.
Being influential gives you access to a sacred world
So regardless of the position you hold being influential means you have a compelling way of expressing and communicating your needs, wants and desires so as to enrol people into your vision and entice them to help you bring it to life.
Influence is an unparalleled attribute to possess.
Not only does it open doors, it automatically elevates you to a new level of excellence which you need to be prepared to nurture and expand upon.
When you’re a self-assured, confident and influential communicator in charge of your own future, everything is possible. You:
- Stand out from the crowd, you get noticed and you’re paid your value
- Invited to collaborate with other thought leaders in your industry
- Most people are more willing to help you achieve your objectives, goals and aspirations
- Can more easily create strategic alliances for greater reach and impact
- Staff love performing at their best for you
- Customers rave about your products and services
- Get invited to cool events, work on fun projects and actualize your dreams
- Have a compelling way to articulate your value and vision
- People want to be involved even if you’re starting something new
- Generate the power to make a difference and be a positive role model who leads by example of what’s possible
"Using the 5 Keys To Influence, it’s exciting to know I’ve finally made it into the inner circle. My CEO now personally invites me to work on projects I never knew existed.” Senior Business Analyst – Bunnings
Being influential is not hard. Doing it with integrity is.
These 5 Keys will help you be influential from the inside out.
Know your outcome and vision
Now you’re clear on why you want to be influential. You’ll need to get clear on your outcome because having a compelling vision is paramount to enrolling people. So what do you want to achieve by being influential? HINT: This is about your higher purpose. It’s the ultimate outcome you want to influence. It’s your WHY you do what you do.
Having a compelling vision and being able to say what you want clearly and with conviction is the difference between someone tuning in to what you’re saying or tuning out.
Let’s get clarity!
- Specifically, what do you want to get done?
- What is the bigger problem you are trying to solve?
- Describe is the compelling solution you want to share with the world and why is so important to you that you do?
Know what makes you credible
Your supporters, raving fans and those that are interested in being there for the long haul will also be keen to know what makes you a credible person to help, support and ultimately want to follow. It’s important to share your skills, expertise and philosophies in a way that is authentic and convinces others of the value you offer. It will also help position you as a trusted leader in your field.
This is not about bragging or going for the hard sell, it is about demonstrating the depth of experience and expertise that you bring to each interaction. Also, think about what makes you unique and different from others.
Let’s get clarity!
- Why should people listen to you?
- What value do you offer and makes you credible?
- Write down your backstory and uncover how it has shaped who you are today.
Know who you want to become
Receive a moment to think about the most influential people in your life. Choose people that have or do influence you in a healthy and some that influence you in an unhealthy way as well. Now I’m sure when you think of each person, particular attributes come straight to mind. Let’s take a few moments to ponder them.
Let’s get clarity:
- What are 10 attributes you believe most influential leaders possess?
- Looking at your list, which attributes do you already have access to?
- Which attributes do you feel you need to develop, improve or enhance?
Know how to command a room with your presence
I have a saying “Producing a brilliant life is a lot like producing a hit TV show, you’ll be a ratings success or flop depending on how you connect, engage and communicate with your audience.”
I’m sure you’ve seen it many times before when someone walks into a room and people take notice. Their conversation has an impact and offers value to those they are talking with. There is an alluring quality that is captivating to watch. It’s the je nai se quoi star performers ooze naturally. It’s as if they’ve always known the secret to being a bold and irresistible is how you make another person feel when they are in your presence!
Let’s get clarity:
- What situations do you find most effortless to be yourself and communicate freely? Why?
- Do you have a way about you that puts people at ease?
- Which attribute do you exude and are they the ones you want to be known for?
Know your results and course correct as necessary
There are a good deal of communicators that are so focused on sharing their point of view that they miss the signs that their audience has become disengaged.
To be a bold and irresistible communicator you need to demonstrate a lot of behavioural flexibility. This means to have enough awareness and rapport to know if your message is getting through and what to do if it isn’t. Remember the meaning of communication the response you get.
If you knew your message wasn’t getting through do you:
- Barrel along and hope that being more forceful with your opinion will have them see your point of view
- Get frustrated and confused and doubt your ability to communicate effectively
- Take responsibility for your reactions and change your behaviour accordingly?
Let’s get clarity:
- What do you like most about communicating with another person? Why?
- Do you actively listen to hear what people want and then respond by asking great quality questions?
- Next time you notice your message isn’t getting through what different actions could you choose to take instead?
Know yourself well
When you know yourself intimately you can more successfully navigate through obstacles and it’s no longer a struggle. You’ll know what environments you thrive in and you’ll ensure you spend more time in them than not. Plus you’ll know what your needs are and you’ll be able to articulate them with influence, power and authority to get you tangible results.
The more passionate you are the more it fuels the air you breathe and your joy and satisfaction in life. And it’s this passion and enthusiasm for life that people love and want to around because they can’t help but feel better about themselves when they are included in this type of energy. They naturally want to perform better.
This is all possible when you know how to use the 5 Keys To Influence.
Create a personal manifesto to keep your spirits high and you mind positively focused on your intention.
Are you ready to be brilliant now?
[…] Now you have a manifesto to keep your focus. The next step could be to make sure you are being as influential as you could be. […]