Do you think you have influence?
In “Search Inside Yourself,” Chade-Meng Tan makes the argument we all have influence.
“The first rule of influence is that we all already have it,” wrote Tan. “Everything we do or don’t do, and everything we say or don’t say, has an effect on other people. The key is not to acquire influence, but to expand the influence we already have and to use it for the good of all.”
So everything you do today has an affect on others. Whether it’s the way you walk into the office, talk to people, etc. you are affecting others. I do think it’s important to note here, however, that you are only in control of you. While you have influence, you can only determine your own words and actions; how others respond and react to you is completely up to them. You can’t control that and it’s essential to remember this truth because otherwise this idea and truth can become another wild beast.
Moving on, Tan gives four steps for growing the reach of your influence I’d like you to process through today:
- First and foremost, acknowledge the above fact that you already have the ability to affect others. You don’t have to gain the ability to affect people; you already do that. Now, it’s working on how you affect people, as in what ways and for whose benefit.
- Second, you want to strengthen your self-confidence. Becoming comfortable with not only your strengths but also your weaknesses will increase your confidence. “Emotionally, people gravitate toward confidence, especially the type of self-confidence based on kindness and authenticity,” wrote Tan.
- Seek to comprehend people. Understanding their goals, their motivations and what they want helps effectively influence those around you. Plus, you can help them achieve their goals in ways that help you toward your own goals.
- Ultimately, look to serve the greater good. “While remember to take care of your own self-interest, never forget to go beyond just serving self-interest. Act for the good of the team, or the good of the company, or the good of the world,” said Tan.
Today, first recognize you have influence and you are affecting those around you. Then begin to take the steps to use it for the great good. You might be surprised by the power of your reach.