Cultivating influence is a practice all leaders must engage in inside of their organizations, throughout their communities, and within their families.
Though these three steps are simple, but they are not easy!
- Specific Attention
- Dedicated Time
- Lot’s of Practice
But when you engage in the right processes that build strong foundations with people, you are cementing relationships and taking the needed steps to lay the ultimate cornerstone of success.
And this process is known as building trust. And trust is a big topic!
The Basics of Building Trust
Build Trust by Being Trustworthy
Keep promises you make and when promises are not met, deal with it appropriately. Apologize and repair when trust gets broken.
Do Not Pretend to be Perfect
Minimizing, denying or blaming others for our own failures only creates mistrust, division and suspicion. Instead facing our broken promises head on leaves people wanting to follow you, which sets you apart.
Be Courageous in the Face of Your Mistakes.
Be accountable for not only your good intentions but your impact on others. Everything we do impacts others. Dealing with the effects of our behaviors effectively sets you apart from the pack and creates a space for trust to thrive.
For more in-depth information on trust: Fernando Flores and A H Almas
Develop your Presence
Presence is an alignment of our mental, emotional, and physical selves. It is not about charisma or flash: it is about trust at the nonverbal level. We have all heard that 70% of communication is nonverbal – we automatically read people to see if we can trust them and discern if we are safe with that person, it is our animal instincts.
There are many ways to go about lining up your mental, emotional and physical selves.
Curiosity about where you are off in your alignment is the first step. Then there is the invisible work that people don’t see you to cultivating relationships that will go the extra mile. These supporting practices might include:
- Meditation practices
If you truly wish to have influence you must treat each being with equal respect, presence, and care. Build your network understanding that our influence connects to others influence and the cultivation of relationships with others of influence.
It is more of the value and a way of being with people when you are with them.
Any time people feel that they are seen, valued, important and treated with real dignity, they respond by coming closer in relationship.
A word of caution though: It must be authentic and not simply a tactic.
Your Influence Inventory
Take this Influence Inventory to reflect on your current capacity to influence others:
- Are you trustworthy? Ask your colleagues and friends to confirm your self-assessment.
- Do you easily trust others? Why or why not?
- What do you gain by trusting or not trusting?
- How do you work with your mistakes?
- How do you work with others’ mistakes?
- Are you able to turn a breakdown into a breakthrough?
- What regular practices do you keep to hone your presence, develop your inner “pause” button, and nurture a strong ability to listen?
- What practices do you do when you feel “off” to get back “on?”
- Is there a gap in your practices that you’d like to fill? Pick a practice and try it out!
- How diverse is your network?
- Do you put personalities above shared purpose? Try making connections with people you don’t necessarily like, but know would help develop your reach.
- Are there things you know you need to clean up around any broken promises or mistakes? (Remember: There is no time like the present!)
Enjoy the journey to developing yourself and your network of people.
They are, after all, the heart of any influence you have to offer.
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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
Edited by Jaclyn Schulte
Image Sources: eadinehickey.com
- Trust and Leadership (j4man.wordpress.com)
- On Leading and Accountability (linked2leadership.com)
- On Leadership and Learning Executive Presence (linked2leadership.com)