How to Use Influence to Get What You Want
Most women do not view themselves as powerful or influential, even though history has often proven otherwise. We are able to look at other women and view THEM as powerful, influential or savvy, but for ourselves, there seems to be a certain measure of humility and meekness that we must always maintain, otherwise we fear being perceived as cold, calculating, power-hungry or controlling. It's always been considered to be somewhat normal to find comfort in mediocrity - it's much more socially acceptable and easy, after all.
This post is about learning to not be afraid to be who you really are, which is loving, nurturing, kind, thoughtful, compassionate and POWERFUL and how we can harness our power of influence by being true to who we really are, instead of shrinking and trying to be something or someone we are not. It's about letting go of the need to please or be pleasing, and following your own path to being successful and influential.
So the first thing we may want to look at, is why is it that we shrink away from power and influence in the first place? Ever felt intimidated around people you perceive to be powerful? Ever find yourself trying to avoid conversation or confrontation with a person you deem to be powerful and/or influential? Ever wonder why you do that?
People who are powerful or who fill powerful positions are often people who are focused on Significance. They may enjoy being in the spotlight, being in control and having authority, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are cold, callous or calculating. Knowing that these people have any kind of power over us, however, knowing that they have the ability to impact your life, your reputation, your salary, or even your own sense of self confidence or self worth can be terrifying - especially for those of us who have a weakened sense of power and influence to begin with. In some cases, it may even seem like a good idea to just avoid them altogether.
The need that we are focused on when we find ourselves avoiding people of power and influence is the need for Certainty. When we know that we can't control the outcome, we have a tendency to try to avoid it; the thought of how things might play out becomes daunting and so we make the decision to "shrink" and steer clear of people of power and authority. We decide that we would much rather stick to what we know and what is familiar, because at least then we have some certainty that we know we will be accepted and validated. People of power and influence, on the other hand, will tell you things that you don't necessarily want to hear.
There is a quiet power though that nobody really ever talks about - and that is the power of influence. Real influence doesn't come from traditional models of power. Real influence, the kind that makes people remember you in a good way and makes people want to deal with you and do business with you and interact with you and model you - comes from a totally different kind of power. It comes from the power that is within you.
I've often heard the old saying that "The people who are the most honest, giving and straightforward may be the ones who have the hardest time, but they are also the ones who will eventually be the most respected and admired" and over the years, I've come to learn that this is true. There's something about people who have integrity; who quietly follow their own path; other people respect them and seek their advice. They trust them because they know they can. They lean on them because they know they are dependable and they admire them because it takes sacrifice to put other people's needs ahead of your own.
There is a powerful way to lead and influence people without having to become bossy, arrogant, intimidating or demanding. It is through your own behaviour and attitude. Your behaviour and your attitude have more impact on people than you know. The way YOU choose to conduct yourself - the way YOU choose to respond to situations and circumstances - the way YOU choose to think, speak, believe and express - all of these things have an incredible amount of impact and influence on the people around you.
One of the reasons why most of us become frustrated with our circumstances or our relationships or our jobs, is because we spend too much time being focused on what someone else is doing and not enough time thinking about how we could change ourselves.
Something really magical begins to happen when we make the decision to stand in our power and find peace within ourselves. We become stronger. We become more willing to stand up for ourselves and to draw boundaries around ourselves that clearly identify what we are willing to tolerate and what we are not. We also stop second guessing ourselves. We stop following the herd. We stop allowing everyone else's voices to drown out our own. We stop believing that we are not enough. We stop selling ourselves short and worrying about trying to make people like us. As a result, we begin to have more impact and influence.
One of the most strategic steps you could take to develop more positive influence in your life is to begin to consider what it is that you are most afraid of. Our greatest opportunity lies in the places where we most complain. Think about your current life. What do you find yourself complaining about the most? What do you find yourself fearing the most? What do you spend most of your time trying to avoid? Where do you find yourself becoming the most uncomfortable? Why? Where are the hidden opportunities in these things?
If you find yourself unsure of where you are or where you can facilitate the greatest changes in your life, begin by taking an inventory of everything you do during the course of one day. When you look at this information at the end of the day, what opportunities do you find to improve? Are there things you spend your time doing that you shouldn't? Are there ways that you respond or react that do not help you achieve what you desire? Does your communication need work? What do you find yourself getting frustrated about most?
Any time we find ourselves experiencing something that is less than what we want, we are presented with an opportunity to change. The change that we desire most must always begin with us ourselves. Ask yourself the following questions:
What can I do to influence this person, this situation or this outcome?
How can I see this differently, perhaps even from another person's perspective?
What am I not seeing here?
What is the truth I'm not telling myself?
Where is the opportunity here for me to grow as a person, parent, employee, spouse or entrepreneur?
What is the need that is not being met for myself, my partner, my boss, my child or my client?
What can I do to help this need get met in the most effective and positive way?
How have I contributed to this situation?
Being totally honest and open with ourselves and others does not make us weak - it actually makes us strong. Believing that facing the truth will be more difficult is just kidding yourself. You can't change what you don't acknowledge. You can't influence what you're not willing to own. The only way to step into your power and take back your ability to influence is to step up and take ownership of the things that are within your control. Those, after all, are the only thing you are responsible for.
If you would like to have some help achieving your goals or eradicating your limiting beliefs, please contact me to find out how you can take advantage of my complimentary, one-on-one, Coaching Consultation Session. This free session can help you get to the core of your deepest desires and give you the opportunity to create a powerful and impactful purpose driven plan for 2017!
About the author
Tamara Dodgson is a Certified Strategic Intervention Coach and Life Strategist, trained by Robbins Madanes. She has spent the better part of a half century studying, researching and learning about personal growth and development, self-help, spirituality, leadership, success, achievement and philosophy. She is a writer, philosopher, life coach, mother, fitness enthusiast, nature lover, book fanatic and divine being of infinite possibilities. She is also the proud author of "Designing Your Life - A Guide to Help You Consciously Create Your Future" and has recently released a new educational program called "2017 - Your Year of Transformation." You can connect with her on Facebook at Forward Coaching & Consulting Services, on her website at www.tamaradodgson.com, or via email at email@example.com.