Great article by Sherrie Campbell, Psychologist, Author, and Speaker, writing for Entrepreneur.
To be ranked amongst the successful elite, you must have the strength and know-how to influence other people. The whole intention behind having an influence is to grow all things in your life and business to be bigger and better. To have a strong influence you must possess the skills to be able to take control, lead, speak up and make certain your team is heard. You must be an expert in selling your ideas to an audience through articulating, clearly and directly, what is that you want, what you are looking for and how you expect to go about achieving those aims.
The gift of persuasion is the most powerful influencer. Learn to love the challenge of meeting, connecting, persuading and winning others over; particularly new people, customers or vendors. Persuasion is not the same as selling or convincing others to see things from your perspective. Instead, persuasion is the process of learning from others and negotiating with them towards a shared solution. To be persuasive you must first establish your sincerity by finding some common ground. Demonstrate the validity of your shared interest by providing concrete evidence to the customer of the value of your connection, and then move to relate with them emotionally. To engage new customers emotionally make use of compelling–even over-the-top–stories, descriptions, or examples to allow your ideas to come to life.
To be a great influencer you must be a doer. You have to possess a deep passion for activating, putting projects and ideas in motion and launching plans to achieve their completion. As a doer it must be your desire to turn thoughts into actions as quickly as possible. You need to feel compelled to get the ball rolling. To exert your influence you have to prove that you are not all talk and fluff, but that you are a worthy person of action. To have a powerful influence and to establish your credibility things need to happen now; make no room for laziness or procrastination. Further, you must be acutely aware of who is on your team and hold little patience for those who cannot jump on an idea, commit to the process and see it through. Being an activator is about being committed to the work that needs to be done to get the job done.
Communication is the greatest vehicle for influencing others. To develop the passion for influence you must learn to communicate effectively; study Neuro Linguistic Programming. To have an influence you must work to be a natural communicator, conversationalist and presenter who can easily transmute thoughts and ideas into words which will inspire action and education.
Further, individual and team success depends upon the ability of individuals to communicate with others, face-to-face, as well as virtually. Every interaction with another person determines how you are perceived and every interaction is an opportunity to develop trust and exert a positive influence. Whether presenting one-on-one or to an audience of one hundred, conveying information to a team or delivering a difficult message, communicating effectively is one of the most powerful tools for achieving your objectives and having an influence.
As someone who desires to have an influence, you have to be determined to win contests and competitions. Understand your progress and success is always going to be compared and measured against the performance of others. Being competitive will make you great in sales and in having an influence on winning over new contacts. A winning, competitive attitude can be an incredibly effective inspiration in your quest for success. For this reason, hold the belief that your competitors makes you better. When you are around other elite successes embrace that they serve to keep you thinking and growing. They force you to be analytical and fresh to counter the moves they are making in the industry. Appreciate your competition. Learn from them. Use them to scare you into more a heightened level of motivation and to develop a stronger competitive mindset. Give every day all you’ve got. Be a determined competitor. The successful elite know the power of hanging in there.
To have any type of powerful influence you have to have an inner compass that provides you a sense of self-assurance to stay true to your beliefs, abilities and decisions in life. Confidence can be summed up in two words “I can.” Tell yourself, “I can handle this. I can figure this out.” Panic trumps confidence, while being proactive builds confidence. The most direct way to gain confidence is to get really good at something. Be the best at what you do. The more capable you feel, the more confident you are. Identify the qualities and skills most closely linked to your idea of success.
As you look at your business goals, make sure you are following your own definition of success that gives you pride and passion in its pursuit. Identify your current strengths and establish plans for improving. Be on the lookout for new opportunities to grow your talents and experiences. Part of our sense of self-worth comes from the belief and confidence that you have the ability to grow your business and have an influence both today and in the future.
Great influencers have the ability to see talents and strengths in others, usually before anyone else does. Let strengths, whether your own or those of others, inspire you. Work to develop your ability to see the bigger picture of those you lead and those you wish to do business with, and let it be your intention to help others live up to their full potential. You must develop the capacity to see what others do best and which tasks or roles they excel in. To learn to influence through maximizing, you must focus on quality. This quality mindset is what leads you to emphasize areas of strength in yourself and in others, allowing you to work around weaknesses. In maximizing strengths everyone wins and your influence is felt.
To be of great influence learn to lead and be willing to suffer. Those who have risked have suffered and thus become great leaders. Be willing to make mistakes and come through your darker times. Heartbreak is often the training ground for your ultimate success. Through suffering you earn your position and the right to lead through the trials and errors of business. For the reason, people trust you. No one would ever want to follow a leader who has never suffered because when problems or obstacles would arise a person who has never suffered would not know the way through the conflict. Your greatest influence becomes the application your living wisdom.