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It’s no secret that things are changing at cyclone speed these days — for you, your business, family and friends. Just two months ago my CBN article centered on the power of human connection at work, and now you’re likely not physically at work, so what do you do with this information? As with all information, you use it in different ways as your life changes.
You can use the very same seven tips from my February CBN article to create updated connections from the comfort of your home office. In doing so, you’ll take it up a notch by becoming an actual influencer.
You may not realize that at this very moment you could have the opportunity to influence the thoughts, moods, words and actions of those with whom you communicate, regardless of whether your communication is one-to-one or mass media.
You may be all by yourself reading this, wondering what the heck I’m talking about. As you look around your home office, you see no one to influence.
You have influence over far more people than you imagine. Your positive thoughts, words and actions will elevate people beyond your immediate sphere. All you need to do is turn off the TV, step away from the constant overflow of news and decide what you want to create.
You’ve observed many different types of behavior in individuals over the past few weeks, ranging from fear-based, grief-stricken, to those who can talk of nothing other than the declining market or coronavirus. Do you gravitate toward these people or do you cut conversations short to find more positive outlets?
You can be this positive outlet. Become an influencer. What is an influencer? A business or social marketing influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his or her audience.
Note, influencers possess the ‘power to affect the decisions’. The first step is to decide whose decisions you’d like to affect. Then go to work. Our world and your world need positive influencers now more than ever before. This is your opportunity to make a difference.
Influencers become influencers through specific activities. Whether you intend to influence those immediately around you — your co-workers, family and friends — or seek to impact a larger segment, the steps are similar.
Keep growing and learning. Never settle for the status quo. Continually expand your knowledge. It seems that the world is at a standstill, all conversations limited to three items—financial market, coronavirus and politics. Initiate new conversations and invite others to do the same. True influencers never stop learning or sharing their new insights.
How to do this? Find and share articles from good news outlets, as goodnewsnetwork.org, msn.com/en-us/news/good-news, elle.com/culture/career-politics/g31813228/happy-news-stories-2020.
With the extra time you likely have on your hands these days, make it a point to learn more about various aspects of your products, services or profession. Personal and professional development is always the influencers’ priority. Make this a goal and schedule time to pursue and share.
Help others. Don’t wait for them to ask. Your ability to read people and situations sets you apart from those with less influence.
How to do this? When you see co-workers becoming more negative, fearful, irritable and less patient, gently single them out. We rarely see the downward spiral we’ve entered, but with the help of an astute influencer who shows that they care, our spiral turns upward. We are then in a position to help others. Start a movement within your business to help others by selecting an entity such as the Bethlehem Inn or someone who needs group donations. Get creative with the specific expertise of your industry, such as making masks or reaching out to those most in need of a pleasant voice or food or prescription delivery.
Lead by example. Especially in uncertain times, influencers stay true to who they are at their core — their personal set of values and their vision of who they are, what they stand for. Your inner strength is a gift to those around you who may be feeling less certain of themselves. Bring people up to your level, don’t sink to theirs.
I believe that people need positive influencers. We are too often influenced by the wrong people, so need to be careful. For example, in teaching workshops on how to network socially in business settings, I used to open the workshops with a simple question. “What is one word to describe networking?”
It was always fascinating to see what happened next. If the first person said something negative like ‘scary’ or ‘waste of time,’ all participants then followed with a similar negative theme that’s been set. However, if the first person answered the question more optimistically with ‘fun’ or ‘intriguing’ or ‘opportunistic’ the energy level of the room elevated, and people were far more engaged. Without giving it much thought, workshop participants were influenced by whoever spoke first. Which theme was more beneficial to those who came to learn how to strengthen their business networking skills?
We all have an influence on those around us. With this article, I urge you to step more powerfully into the influencer that you already are. Give serious thought to how you are influencing those closest to you. Elevate your skills, be the influencer who enhances people’s lives, not the opposite. Help others see when they are too easily influenced by misleading sources.
Begin today, influence someone by sharing and discussing this article along with how you intend to become a stronger, more positive influencer. As always, I love hearing from you. Let me know your additional thoughts on becoming a positive influencer.
Executive and Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly successful individuals to greater levels of success since 1998. Ann is President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, can be reached at 541-385-8887, email@example.com or gvasuccess.com. Subscribe to Ann’s internationally acclaimed ‘Success Thoughts’ e-zine on her website.