“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney
The majority of us don’t have a very high self-esteem, but among us there are many special individuals who don’t even realize they are unique. The reason why this happens is that sometimes there may be people in our lives who underestimate us and make us feel worthless and insecure.
“As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition too.” – Johnny Depp
And as many of us, you probably are both very humble and incredibly special, but you still don’t know it. Just because you don’t save lives every day, you don’t have a huge self-confidence and you are not a doctor with five Masters and a PhD, it doesn’t mean that you’re not special. Being special could mean many things, like volunteering, helping your friends, listening to someone who feels alone, being a single mother or working all day long to pay the house mortgage.
Here are 10 signs that will reveal you how special you are.
1. You think there is always more to learn
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates
You are not arrogant like many people, and you’re interested in what happens around the world. Also, you are curious, and you always feel you should learn new things or improve some of your skills.
2. You are kind to others
When you meet new people or when you are dealing with someone you already know, like your friends, or your colleagues, you tend to smile and be kind, just because there is no reason to be negative and treat others as if they were less important. Remember what I’m about to say and stick to it: never ever ever try to emulate people who never smile and are rude and disrespectful, just because they are powerful. Those people have huge unresolved personal issues. It’s the way you deal with others, being kind and positive, that makes you special and unique. So don’t try to change this.
Image: Be Kind
3. You understand others’ feelings
You don’t know how, but when someone talks about his personal life and experiences with you, sharing secrets or feelings with you, you perfectly understand the way they feel. Plus, you know you always need to go beyond the way others appear, to understand them. When someone tells you “I’m fine” you know there might be something more going on according to their voice or their facial expression, and you try to listen them, letting them talk about how they feel.
4. You enjoy music
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
Your brain is very sensitive to music. Not only do you enjoy music, but you also need it in your daily routine, and it always evokes deep emotions in you. Those emotions may be good or bad, but they are strong.
5. You listen
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
This is one of the most rare qualities in a person. Everyone tends to talk about himself or herself, for hours, regardless of what others have to say. Instead, you tend to listen a lot to others and you feel genuinely interested in their lives and in what they talk about.
Image: Listen My Friend
6. You like to make others happy
You feel good every time you manage to make someone happy, and you spend time thinking about many ways of making others smile or live a good moment. This might be, for example, a nice gift, a smile, a surprise or any kind of good deed.Advertising
Image: Be kind
7. You are positive
“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” – Marla Gibbs
Not only do you have a positive attitude towards life and challenges, but you also try to transmit your good mindset to others. You usually don’t have prejudices and always think people are basically good. As a result, this could hurt you sometimes, and you have to be careful, but it’s the way you are.
8. You have goals
You know exactly what you want from yourself, and you have intelligently planned your goals. You take action in your life, and you know where you want to go. Also, you don’t let others discourage you.
Image: It’s A Goal
9. You dream
This means that you are ambitious, something that gives you the power to boost your productivity and motivation to go through your challenges. You don’t let obstacles stop you, you don’t let anything intimidate you, and you think big even when some people try to confuse or scare you.
10. You like to travel and learn from other cultures
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Unknown
You believe in the power of multiculturalism, you are curious about other countries, other architectures and other ways of life. You give yourself the gift of learning from other cultures because you know how much this can make you richer. You like to interact with people with different experiences of life, from other societies, religions, and civilizations, and you are happy to share your culture with them as well.Advertising
Featured photo credit: A Dream Within A Dream via flickr.com
Last Updated on April 6, 2020
10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively
Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.
Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.
Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.
So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.
1. Be Authentic
To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.
Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.
Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.
Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.
To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.
Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.
Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)
3. Become an Expert
Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.
You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.
4. Lead with Story
From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.
If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps
5. Lead by Example
It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C
ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.
We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.
6. Catch People Doing Good
A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.
Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.
7. Be Effusive with Praise
It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.
Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.
8. Be Kind Rather Than Right
I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.
The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.
If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.
9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs
The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.
The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.
If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.
10. Understand Your Lane
If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.
Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.
You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.
Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.
It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.
More Tips About Making Influence
- 20 Powerful Books to Win You Friends and Influence More People
- How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship
- Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?
Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com