Throughout my career I have certainly learned – sometimes more slowly than others – the importance and value of influence. Leading isn’t possible without influence, and only through leading effectively can we really expect to make a lasting impact on the world. Fortunately, being selected as a founding partner with John in the John Maxwell Team, I’ve enjoyed an exceptionally fast-paced and amazing journey (almost ‘super-powerful’, but I’ll leave that for another time) in personal understanding of how to effectively develop influence. I’d like to share parts of that with you here.
Relationships are the foundation of leadership, life, and establishing influence. So if we’re going to be successful, or impactful, we must ‘win’ with people. How do we do that? Here are 5 simple ways to start.
1. Let People Know You Need Them
No one accomplishing anything worthwhile, or great, by themselves. Just doesn’t happen. Therefore, we need other people if we’re going to make a difference and/or be successful. So it only makes sense that we let them know. There’s something magical about telling people we need them. (Think about how we feel when someone tells us they need us.)
When was the last time you sat down with someone and told them you need them?
2. Share a Secret with Someone
Make a point of letting someone be ‘the first to know’ about something that impacts them or the organization. It will make them feel important and valued. They’ll understand you’re thinking about them; that they’re on your mind. It will help them feel special, and also provides them comfort knowing that you’ll keep them informed about things that matter.
Is being ‘in the know’ important? If not, social media never would have taken off!
Let people know you think enough of them to make them the first to know.
3. Do for Others What They Can’t Do for Themselves
“What can I do for you?” When asked by a leader, is a powerful question. You begin to win their heart. Not only are you asking their opinion – rather than assuming you know best – but you’re also showing that you’re willing to invest in their success. You show both that you care about them as a person, and also that you truly want to help them get past some obstacles that they can’t effectively handle on their own.
Sometimes what you do for people includes sharing ideas, experiences or opportunities with them that they wouldn’t know about without you. Other times it might include things such as introducing them to people they might not otherwise get the chance to meet.
As a leader, do you make time to ask your people the important question, “What can I do for you?”
4. Mine the Gold of Good Intentions
We really have two options, either assume people are good or assume they aren’t. And it only makes sense – especially if we want them on our team – that we assume the best. To be influential, we need to look for the best in other people. We should assume their intentions (even if the results don’t work out as hoped) are good.
We should give people the benefit of the doubt. See them at their best, not their worst. We all have good days and bad days. Let’s remember their best. Bonus: And it always helps when we can try to see the world from their perspective.
We can either connect with people, or correct them. Where are you spending your time?
5. Be the First to Help
What’s better than helping others get what they want? Being the first to help! Everyone remembers the ‘first’. Whether it’s our first kiss, our first sale, or the person who was first to volunteer to help us get what we truly want in life. Momentum can’t build without the first step, the first action, or the first person to jump on board. Be the first for those around you. (You’ll also be surprised how good it makes you feel to do it.)
When was the last time you were the first to volunteer, to help someone else out when they needed help?
If you want to be more influential with those around you, and truly ‘win’ with people, all you have to do is start with these five things.
The person that wins with people, wins at life.