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How To Influence The Industry You’re In

How To Influence The Industry You’re In

Anyone who desires to have a career that transcends a typical 9 to 5, more than likely desires to add value not only to their organization but also to their industry itself. But just how do you begin to influence an industry that has been around for years, that you’re new to, or trying to reposition your brand in?  I can remember being new to my career and new to my organization where my tenure, age, and experience seemed to be 15 – 20 years junior to everyone else’s. I would often times wake up thinking and enter meetings wondering, how will I be able to influence others today?

Whether your industry is small and easy to navigate or overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, here are 5 of the best ways you can learn to influence and benefit your industry:

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Identify what type of influence you want to have

Influence pic

    Leadership expert, John Maxwell, is famously quoted for stating that “Leadership is Influence–Nothing more, Nothing Less.”  So if influence is all about leadership, who are you leading?  What problem would you like to solve in your industry? What key message do you feel like is important for your industry peers to know about? And even more importantly, how can you add value to those you would like to impact?  Your influence will consistently grow the more you serve and add value to others at all levels, not just other influencers.

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    Establish yourself as a credible expert 

    Speaker giving presentation in lecture hall at university. Participants listening to lecture and making notes. Copy space for brand on white screen.
      Credible Expert

      Many people only take a semi-proactive approach to their career by at most attending industry conferences, local trainings, and online webinars. However if you really want to take your industry by storm don’t just attend the conferences,

      • Answer the call for speakers and submit a proposal to speak.
      • Start publishing articles in your industry’s publications, write white papers, and guest blog on reputable blogs.
      • Become a published author to get your message out to the masses.
      • Leverage resources where your peers and other key influencers are such as LinkedIn
      • Collaborate with other business and key influencers to make a bigger impact together

      No matter which route you take, whether you do some or all of the above, the only way you can tremendously influence others is through establishing your credibility!

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      Identify future trends and talk about what’s next

      Male sneakers on the asphalt road with yellow line and title Future. Step into the future.
        Identify Future Trends!

        The easiest thing for anyone to do is to talk about what’s wrong. Any expert can go in depth about problem number 1, 2, 3, or 4. Historical context is always great but I also remember hearing previous bosses say to the team, “don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution.” However, industry leaders create significant influence not just by studying the past, but by linking it to the right pro-active solutions. Pro-active solutions that can lead to disruptive innovation and change how an entire industry goes to business, like the invention and rapid growth of social media (no pressure). When looking to gain more influence in your industry be sure to answer questions for your peers like, what do they need to be preparing for? What’s changing in the near future? etc.

        Be Different

        Brand new color pencils right out of the box for school supplies.
          Be Different!

          Not only are others looking for pro-active solutions to age-old problems, they are also looking for innovative and unique perspectives that transform how they go to business – but being different can be tricky. For some it comes naturally in which most often that person is always comfortable in a healthy debate that challenges thought processes. For others, pushing the envelope and causing any level of discomfort brings heightened anxiety. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, influencing your industry tremendously doesn’t happen by sharing and repeating what others already know. It happens by someone like you sharing not only what they don’t know, but also what they need to hear! Where are you willing to show up and push the envelope?  In order for others to think differently, we have to challenge ourselves to show up differently.

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          Start where you are

          Young people working in the office
            Start where you are!

            Before you can influence an industry, make sure you are able to influence those that are closest to you first. What would your direct reports, peers, and boss say about you now? Would they consider you an influencer on your team? How about in the wider company? The desire to influence your industry is great, just make you are known for adding value and serving those in your own backyard first. The more you influence and serve those closest to you the easier it will be to assimilate into larger circles of influence!

            If you’re not sure where to start or how to expound upon your existing influence, start with #5 above, exactly where you are. The message you wish to share and multiply across your industry will first be developed in the trenches of the ones your work along side with the closest.

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            Last Updated on August 20, 2019

            26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

            26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

            If you pay attention to your everyday life careful enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

            Here are 26 useful things to learn that Abhishek A. Singh shared on Quora. Let’s see how these life theories would lead you to live a different life.

            1. Primacy and recency: People mostly remember the first and last things that occurred, barely the middle.

            When scheduling an interview, ask the employer the time slots they do interviews and try to be the first or the last.

            2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter.

            In this way, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chance of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

            3. Once you make a sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

            This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

            My previous boss was training me and just gave me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

            It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

            4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

            If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk.

            5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.

            When we eat, our brain tell ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger.” This has helped me to stay calm.

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            6. People will always remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

            Also, most people like talking about themselves; so ask lots of questions about them.

            7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend. Let them ask you questions about it.

            If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

            8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

            It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen the next time.

            9. The physical effects of stress — breathing rate and heart rate — are almost identical to the physical effects of courage.

            When you’re feeling stressed in any situations, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, you are NOT stressed.

            10. Pay attention to people’s feet.

            If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

            Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

            11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

            Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

            12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

            Fake it till you make it. Period.

            13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.

            When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

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            And as suggested by Brian Stutzman:

            If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring.

            Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time.

            After a second, you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

            14. Build a network.

            Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

            Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

            15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…

            Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage.

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              16. Stand up straight.

              No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

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              17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.

              These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

              18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.

              You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

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                19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.

                You’d be surprised how long you could drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

                20. Going into an interview… be interested in your interviewers.

                If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

                21. Pay attention parents! Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.

                For instance, when I want my son to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

                Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

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                  22. Your action affects your attitude more than your attitude affects your action.

                  As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

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                  23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

                  Notice who you look at and who look at you when you laugh with a group of people!

                  24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

                  If someone is sitting with her legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

                  Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

                  25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect (suggested by Matt Miller)

                  I find the basis of the Benjamin Franklin effect is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing. This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too.

                  Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.

                  The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

                  26. Handle panic and anxiety behaviors by tapping fingers (Suggested by Jade Barbee)

                  When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

                  For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations – emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

                  Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

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