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12 Habits That Will Shape You To Be Profoundly Influential

12 Habits That Will Shape You To Be Profoundly Influential

Influence – one trait we all wish we had more of. It’s easy for us to see how our lives might change “overnight” if we simply had more influence in our social spheres. The art of influence can seem like it’s incredibly difficult – as though you’re born with it or not. Fortunately, such a mindset is a myth. To become profoundly influential, all it takes is mental persistence with a few shifts in attitude and perspective.

1. The networking mindset

If you want to be influential with anything you take on, getting yourself and your message around receptive people is perhaps the single greatest step to take. As best-selling author Jeff Goins has proclaimed, every genuine story of success is a story of community. If you’re interested in taking your own life far, invest your time, talents and energy in the lives of others. Help uncover what they want to get out of life and equip them to boldly move forward.

2. Challenging the status quo

All influential figures across history – and indeed, some of the present day – have been boat-rockers and picture-shakers. Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jesus, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Anne Frank all stepped out of their comfort zone and challenged those around them with truth. While this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of influential figures, and each of these people certainly walked the Earth in different ways and places, all of them challenged the status quo and caused people to re-examine their perspectives. It must be noted that these people also rocked the boat to make things better in life – not just for the sake of being a rabble-rouser.

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3. Proactive engagement

To become profoundly influential, you don’t have time to wait around and ask for permission to change the world. You need to become a self-starter. Be someone who makes things happen because it’s who you are and you have a vision you must bring to pass. The secret to becoming proactive almost overnight? You need to get fired up over something. That something should be whatever you can ultimately “get lost in.” This is the main grouping of activities in life that never seems to run dry for you. Find how you can bring value to other people through this passion and let yourself loose.

4. Welcoming disagreement

Being okay with and even embracing the thoughts of other people is a fast and reliable way to become incredibly influential. People love having their ideas acknowledged, appreciated and shared. When in conversations with people, really try to dig at the core of their desires and what has made them into the person they are. Allow them to express their ideas for themselves, and don’t jump in at the soonest opportunity to actually disagree. Welcome that disagreement – explore the side of the conversation you’re less familiar with. It will help people feel validated, seen and heard.

5. Be a huge believer

People can try to knock optimism and healthy self-belief as much as they want, but these two traits fuel the bedrock of one’s actions. If you believe you can achieve a goal, people will see this and it will begin spreading to them. People witnessing a leader believing in something infuses courage and confidence in the people.

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6. Don’t react to anything – respond instead

If you want to influence outcomes of meetings and conversations as often as possible, don’t be a lightning-fast reactor. People want to know that they’ve been heard, and listening is one of the most powerful and underrated tools for becoming highly influential. Genuinely consider their point of view and respond with something authentic and positive.

7. Be a self-guider

One of the hard truths about being a person of influence is you need to know you can’t always be at the beck and call of others. If you have a dream you want to chase, the hardest and least comfortable time is in the beginning – when you and you alone need to push yourself ahead. Of course, there will come a time where you’ll need to request the assistance of others, because nothing great happens alone. However, those with the greatest influence repeatedly embrace the mindset that they’re initiating their own goals and have the resources to make it happen.

8. Help inspire conversation

Creating opportunities for conversation is the quickest way to connect people. Out of humans come the most brilliant and beautiful things in the world, so in order to advance technologically, relationally and in all other ways, we first need to connect humans. Conversation allows ideas to be shared and for people to relate further with one another. Helping potentially new best friends become connected is a reliable and altruistic way to become influential.

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9. Keep the main thing, the main thing

When you reach the end of another day, it’s easy to want to simply drop down and forget about everything for a while. But if you’re honest with yourself, if you didn’t spend the day involved in what you really care about, it will always nag you until it gets acknowledged. Don’t let lesser priorities rule your day. Influential people always begin the day with a clear set of priorities, and this enables them to truly run the day, instead of the other way around.

This applies to conversations too. Influential people refuse to let themselves get knocked off track – at least for long. It’s okay to allow other people to lead in different contexts, but help keep the main thing the main thing. If a result needs to be reached, bring people back to the center when they seem to be veering off.

10. Help people succeed

There’s truly nothing that will help you succeed faster than helping other people succeed. All people have desires that they want to live out, and there’s no shortage of people wanting help with this. Naturally, people want the biggest results for the lowest amount of effort, but when you genuinely help someone reach a goal, they are extremely likely to notice it. Become a huge fan of other people for reasons you’re authentic about – don’t just smother people with compliments. Find traits about them you can legitimately support them through and eagerly let them know about it.

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11. Build pathways for the future

It’s no secret that the state of the world is (and kind of always has been) volatile. The only real guarantee in life is that it will end one day, so when people think about the future, naturally most are apprehensive. People don’t like thinking of the future often because it quickly reminds them how little of it they have planned out. If you can become a reliable source of strength for helping people plan for the future – and getting them results – success will start to stick to you like glue. People feel outrageously reassured when they can see a firm future for themselves. It’s one of the few forces that unabashedly unlocks higher levels of human potential.

12. Approach everything as a learning experience

Those who treat all life events as a learning experience are exponentially more likely to succeed and become highly influential. Adding value to your own life and those around you comes with learning, then application.

Now get out there and become influential!

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Brad Johnson

Top 5 Kindle Author | Author of 10 Books

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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