Having a significant influence is comparable to the mesmerizing effect caused by throwing a stone into a tranquil pool of water.
As the stone makes its impact, it sets off a chain reaction of ripples that extend far beyond the initial moment of impact.
Your influence may start small but can grow into a powerful force, shaping opinions, inspiring change, and leaving a lasting impact long after the initial stone has settled.
A huge piece of becoming a brilliantly influential person is understanding the people that you are influencing. So to preface this blog, I'd recommend taking a look at this one all about identifying behavioural styles.
Following on from there, here are further tips that will build your influence onto levels that you have never felt before, especially when paired with your social flexing.
This can all be used to supplement the speed and quality of your personal growth.
Understanding Your Audience and Flex – Mirroring
A significant part of building deep, productive relationships involves understanding your audience. When you actively listen to what someone is saying and how they express themselves, it enhances your ability to adjust your communication style effectively. This adjustment has a profound impact on your level of influence.
However, effective communication goes beyond words – it encompasses visual and social cues as well. Consider body language, for instance. If your body language doesn't align with that of the person you're interacting with, it can lead to misinterpretations. They might think you're disinterested, distracted, or uncomfortable, diverting your attention from active listening.
In contrast, when someone mirrors your behavior during a conversation, it fosters a deeper connection. Mirroring doesn't mean copying every action; it could be as simple as matching posture. When both parties naturally sync in this way, it becomes evident that they are engaged, actively listening, and responding appropriately. This connection helps establish influence.
Creating Positive Emotions:
As Maya Angelou once said, "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." While your words and approach are important, the emotions you evoke in others are even more critical for long-term influence.
People are naturally drawn to those who make them feel good, valued, and understood. Regardless of whether you're adjusting your approach for a specific person's social preferences, one aspect you should never compromise on is kindness. Rather than resorting to criticism, focus on praise and provide developmental feedback when guiding others toward positive change. This approach not only helps them grow but also strengthens their appreciation for your support.
Praise. Don’t Criticise
Would you purposefully approach someone that you knew would knock you down at any opportunity?
No, unless you are a glutton for punishment.
If you are a person who builds people up and reminds them of the good that they do… you will be magnetic.
Whenever you feel the need to criticise, think about the person receiving it and how you could repurpose it.
Developmental feedback is a much better approach when guiding people towards making a change, it will also mean that they will value you for supporting them to achieve more.
We actually have a whole blog about it here – Why Does Giving Developmental Feedback Feel So Difficult.
The influence you have on them will grow as they see the value you give to them.
Think about how it feels when someone seeks your opinion – it's a privilege, an acknowledgment that they value your thoughts. When others actively seek your input, it not only influences their actions based on your insights but also strengthens the bond between you. This mutual exchange of value enhances your influence.
Finding Common Ground:
Finding common ground may sound like advice from a dating blog, but it's equally applicable to the realm of influence. People tend to favour those who share their thoughts and opinions on various subjects. While opposites can be exciting, when it comes to influencing others, leveraging shared beliefs and ideas is more effective.
By using commonalities as a foundation, you can guide conversations and decisions toward conclusions that align with your goals. Influence isn't about manipulation but about building connections and using shared values to achieve desired outcomes.
The path to effective influence is paved with actionable advice, and it's important to tailor these strategies to the individuals you interact with. Understanding your audience, creating positive emotions, encouraging input, and finding common ground are the keys to unlocking your influence potential.
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges for 2023, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.
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