When I think about influence, I think about people who have been at the pinnacle of world changing events and or people who have lived lives which are selfless in the way that they put other people’s well being above their own. Some of these people are, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs, Bill gates, satin, and most importantly, Jesus. As you can see, I did not only mention only those of positive influence, but also some who have influenced people in a negative way. Specifically, dictators and the one who influenced Adam and Eve into committing the first sin, therefore separating humanity from God. Influence can be a beneficial and good thing or it can be a weapon to wreak havoc upon the world. We need to make sure that we are using our influence in a way that is uplifting and and beneficial to others.
Merriam-webster.com defines influence as, “The power to change or affect someone or something…the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen…a person or thing that affects someone or something in an important way.” Even more so our books authors define influence as, “The ability to affect another person’s inner state – what they think, feel, and believe.” This leaves me to believe that influence is a skill that should be developed and one that someone should always strive to expand. In the forbes article, “Five Steps to Increase Your Influence,” by Susan Tradanico, it tells you just how to do that. It does this by giving five steps to take to increase your influence. These are:
- Understand your influencing style.
- Take stock of your situation.
- Identify your gaps.
In summary, you need to understand how you influence, note in what area or areas you have influence, find the gaps where you lack influence, improve yourself and fill those gaps, and find situations in which you can exercise the above. One thing to remember though, is to be humble.
If you look to the right, you can see an image that quotes, “Influence is the central competence that all the soft skills have in common.” If you want to have leadership or be in it, you need influence over others. If you are in a negotiation, you need influence on the party you are negotiating with so that you get the best deal. If you are working on a team, you need to be able to influence your team in such a way that empowers them and allows them to work as efficiently as they can. If in sales, you need to be able to influence the buyer to the point of making the purchase.
Below is a diagram/illustration titled, “The Science of Influence.” Touches on a little bit of everything, but it’s focus appears to be with social media. Specifically, it gives you some myths, the what, the why, and the how. It talks about what it means for your business and how to establish reach and trust. Lastly, it leaves you with an image of dominos falling in line. It says to influence the influencers. Take that as you think to be, but remember that you do have the power to influence and that you should protect that just as you would protect your integrity.
Here is a video by crash course where some dude talks about social influence. It’s a bit lengthy, but good. Check it out for some additional food for thought. Thanks for reading!