How to Increase Your Influence

Some people have more influence and impact than others, and these same people always seem to have incredible networks. They may not be wealthier or brighter than their friends, but everyone leans in when they talk and remembers what they say. 

What’s their magic? Having spent decades observing highly influential friends and acquaintances in my business network, here are a few thoughts about habits that increase influence:

Check Your Ego – How long do you want to interact with a self-absorbed person?  When a colleague needs help, be willing to sacrifice your goals for theirs. It’s not all about you; it’s about making good things happen around you.

Leave More Room – While “no plan is a plan to fail” is a good thought, it’s equally true that too tight a plan leaves no room for creativity that results in breakthrough ideas. Plan sufficiently, but leave time in your calendar for serendipity.

Pick Your Battles – When faced with a decision, ask 3 questions: Is this urgent? Is this important? Is this reversible? Realize that urgent matters far outnumber critical ones. Act on the most important matters in a timely way, then when a truly serious problem comes along, you’ll have more time and energy to address it.

Share Your Insight – When you find useful and positive information, consider who would be most helped by this knowledge, then share it with them. I’ve practiced this for years, and the instant communication we have now (email, text, social media) makes it much easier.

Keep It Cool  – When panic strikes, the coolest head prevails, and influence grows. A doctor long ago taught me to start deep muscle relaxation exercises reflexively when stress arises. You too can train yourself to relax and think clearly under stress. Remember that few decisions in business are life-threatening or irreversible.

Keep the Faith – Most importantly, choose to look at things from a higher perspective, and place your faith in something beyond yourself. (Again, it’s not all about you.) Determine your purpose in life beyond making money and buying more toys, then operate with that foundation as your core.  Start each day by reconnecting with that larger personal identity before the relentless battle for your consciousness begins and you’re drawn into darkness, irrelevance, or time-wasting activities.

To summarize, don’t strive to be an influential person. Instead try to deliver value in every interaction, and influence will follow.

 

About Bob Barker
Bob Barker is a trusted advisor to CEOs, helping them identify, define, and execute new growth-accelerating opportunities. He also shares ideas on LinkedIn (robertgbarker), in guest posts on related blogs, and in industry publications. Contact him via email at bob@2020outlook.com.

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