Conference participants ask me all the time for that ONE word or magical phrase, tip, or technique that would give them more influence with their team, colleagues and clients. The ability to persuade others is one way we get people to achieve sales quotas, secure promotions and be offered jobs, win contracts, or even have the furniture rearranged to our liking in the office.
I could give you that one word or tip, but it is only a quick fix that vanishes any possibility for long term solution – then the cycle begins again.
Becoming an Influential Leader is what you are here to learn – the soft skills and the inner qualities that builds character and mentally makes you feel fit to lead a business unit, a classroom of students, a corporation, a foundation, or your own business as a solopreneur.
My years of experience in leadership and business, combined with my studies in mental toughness, lead me to say that the power to influence others with awareness is one of uncompromising mental toughness that expects you to be intentional on who you use it on. When you apply it with extreme care, and are mindfully aware of its end result, you behave like a mentally tough leader exerting two distinct choices:
1. On the awareness level, your impact on others is demonstrated by INTENTIONALLY modifying your followers’ attitudes, beliefs, values, or behaviors and controlling the degree of change in a person’s behavior or attitude as a result. So choose your words carefully, create authentic conversations, be mindful of how people read your tone of voice as well as your body language. Body language, gestures, facial expressions and movement are all non-verbal cues that express what words may not. Optimize your thinking skills with alone time, because alone time often increases creativity and productivity and replaces rigid thinking to become more flexible and choice driven.
2. On the unawareness level, your ability to leverage people and situations to your advantage is left to CHANCE. This means you’re clueless as to the power your words, behaviors and attitudes have on others. This is a dangerous leader, one who is on autopilot. A leader who sends mixed signals leaves their followers at the mercy of unfiltered words and reckless thinking, stirring anxiety and discontent. If you go about your day leading others aimlessly, you experience more failures and fewer successes, feel more frustration and less satisfaction, and there’s a huge likelihood you will have experiences you want to avoid instead of beneficial ones that move you forward.
Influence has long been seen as an integral part of leadership. Does every leader have the ability to become a good influencer?
Can you think of some examples of influence that are in reality manipulation rather than true leadership?
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Copyright 2016 Jennifer Touma Mindscape