By the end of this you will learn the fundamentals of influence, identify the four stages of influence and the different characteristics of an influencer. This will help you become even better at communicating with your colleagues, your family, people you meet and develop stronger relationships and connect with your customers. You will also be able to help increase the performance and productivity of your team members and most importantly will help you grow as a person and leader.
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Everyone has influence, a politician such as the Head of a state or country influences millions of people in a tremendous way in his own country and around the globe. Entertainers influence generations of people in different cultures. A Teacher influences students, touches and affects their lives, and they (the teacher) indirectly influence the people the students grow up to influence.
Despite the fact that we have an impact on almost everyone around us, our influence is not the same with everyone. For example think of four or five people who work with you, when you present an idea to them or even make a simple suggestion do they all respond in the same way? Of course not, some might think your idea is inspiring others may view everything you say with skepticism. On the other hand that one skeptic may find the same idea interesting if it was presented by someone else. This illustrate that your influence with that particular person may not be as strong as that of someone else. We also have to understand that influence can have either a positive or negative affect on others.
Influence is developed in stages just like leadership. In fact leadership is a specific application of influence. That is why when your influence increases, your leadership does the same almost automatically.
The stages of influence are (from lowest to highest) Model, Motivate, Mentor, multiply. And each stage has its own influencer characteristics associated with it.
The modeling stage includes the character of Integrity, which the foundation for becoming an influencer.
Integrity is developed from the inside out. It is not determined by circumstances. It is not based on credentials. It is not to be confused with reputation. Integrity will be tested in time and comes with the great benefit of trust.
To become a person of integrity you have to commit yourself to honesty, reliability and confidentiality. You have to decide ahead of time that your integrity does not have a price and cannot be bought. With integrity you have to major in the minor things in life. And you have to decide each day to do what you should do before what you want to do.
The motivating stage:
In this stage you have to become a nurturer where you show your love and respect to others. Give them a sense of security, recognition and encouragement. And they will receive more than that. They receive positive self-worth, sense of belonging, perspective, feeling of significance and most of all they receive hope.
To become a natural nurturer you have to commit to your people, believe in them and be accessible to them. Give them opportunities to grow that will lift them to a higher level of living.
It is important to have faith in people in the motivating stage. Most people don’t have faith in themselves, or don’t have someone who has faith in them. They can tell when someone has faith in them, and they will do anything to live up to your faith in them.
To become a believer in people believe in them before they succeed, emphasize their strength, list their past success, build their confidence when they fail, experience wins with them, visualize their future success and expect a new level of living for them.
Listening is another character in the motivating stage. It shows people you respect them. It build relationships. It increases knowledge and creates ideas and builds loyalty with people.
To develop listening skills remember the acronym LADDER; Look at the speaker. Ask questions. Don’t interrupt. Determine the need. Check your Emotions. Practice Responsive listening.
Understanding people is the final characteristic in this this stage. You should know the following about people; everybody wants to be somebody. Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Everybody needs somebody. Once you understand them you can help them. Make a decision to understand people.
The mentoring stage:
In this stage you have the ability to enlarge people. It is investing in them for a long term. When you enlarge others you increase the potential for success one of the successful businessman said once there is no future in any job. The future lies in the man who hordes of the job.
The enlarging process requires you to see other’s potential, cast a vision, tap into their passion, focus on their strength, help them with growth steps, give them resources, expose to enlarging experiences and teach and train them to be on their own.
Another characteristic is to be a navigator. Your duty is to find the destination, plot a course, think ahead, watch for mistakes to correct and stick around to support them.
You have to be an excellent connector to make it through the mentoring stage. As a connector, don’t take people for granted, develop a make a difference mindset, initiate movement towards them! Find common grounds and understand the different personalities. Find the key to their lives, possess heartfelt communication, share common experiences and help them move forward.
Finally you have to be an empowerer in this stage. You have to be in the right position, have great relationships, possess high level of respect and have commitment in what you’re doing to empower others.
The steps to empower others are: evaluate and be a role model for them. Give them permission to succeed and authority. Show your confidence in them publically and release them on their own.
The highest stage is multiplying and in it you increase your influence, increase your personal and their potential, it help multiply resources and will affect the organization positively.
To be become a reproducer lead yourself well, look for potential leaders, put the team first and commit to developing leaders not follower.
The whole world would follow you, would it be a better world?