Want More Influence? Then Do This…

20097998 - dictionary definition of the word influence  fake dictionaryI recently facilitated a workshop on increasing leadership influence to a group of engineers. According to the book, “The Likeability Factor” by Tim Sanders, we all go through a 3-step process whenever we make choices:

1) Listen – We listen to something out of the field of opportunities.

2) Believe – We either believe or do not believe what we have heard.

3) Value – We place a value on what we have heard.

At the end of this choice process, people will add up what you have to offer and place a value on you. Then based on your value, people will decide whether or not to choose your proposition. As people try to resolve challenges and achieve their goals, they tend to select the people and propositions that add the most value to their lives. It can be summed up by this simple equation:

Your personal value to others = what you offer minus what you require.

People assign functional, emotional and social costs and benefits to all of their options. Functional value is your ability to do something well. A functional cost would be how much support you require as a friend. Emotional value is your ability to make others feel good. Emotional cost would be making others feel stupid, insecure, or anxious. Social value is how you will reflect on those who choose you. If you tend to complain a lot or fail to deliver on promises, you may be viewed as more of a liability than an asset.

The bottom line is that in order to be influential, we must add value to others. That value only comes from ensuring that what we offer is consistently more than what we require. Being a high maintenance boss, employee, friend, spouse, sibling, parent, etc. increases our cost to others and decreases our value over time. It truly is better to give than to receive. What we give out will always come back to us.

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

 I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good.– Sandra Bullock

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