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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 March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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