Have you ever met someone whose influence seems to manifest itself out of thin air? Their official position doesn’t begin to explain why so many people listen to them and seek out their counsel.
In my experience, such professionals often earn that influence over a career built on genuine and generous relationships with others. In particular, I’ve noticed seven behaviors that go a long way in explaining the origin of their influence. Adopt these behaviors, and just watch how your influence will grow:
Give proactively: People with influence display initiative. They act before others even recognize the need to act, and in many cases, they act with the purpose of helping others. As one college dean said in explaining the upward arc of her career, “Several times in my career, I answered the phone when no one else wanted to.”
Genuinely care: These are professionals who develop a vested interest in the success of others. They have an authentic way of demonstrating genuine care for outcomes. While someone else might inquire about a colleague’s progress, they are much more likely to ask, “Is there anything I can do to accelerate your results?”
People like this are likely to send you a book with a personal note that reads, “I found this to be highly useful and suspect you will feel the same.” Someone else might mention a book in passing; they take the time to obtain it for you and personalize the growth
WYSIWYG: The more authentic you are, the greater your ability to influence others. As our pastor once said, the bigger the gap between who you are and whom you pretend to be, the more challenging your life.
Live authentically, without any hidden agendas. Don’t gossip or play politics.
Give others a boost: Put others - not yourself - on a pedestal. When kudos come your way, say it was a team effort. Never hog the spotlight.
Proactively manage hardship: Is a storm coming? Be the calm, steady one. Did the job suddenly double? Be the first to put your head down and start working.
Be humble: I’ve seen CEOs walk around a table picking up other people’s plates because they were clearing their own. This is seldom a superficial act, but more often a reflection of a truly accomplished person who remains grounded in service to others.
Unfortunately, the qualities I’ve described here seem increasingly rare. They’re not taught in schools and most of us seldom get the opportunity to be mentored by a professional who behaves in this manner. That’s the bad news.
The good news is: it’s never too late to integrate these behaviors into who you are and how you act. Are you going to do this because I wrote an article? Not likely, but I wrote it anyway... because we all need a nudge from time to time. It’s too easy to become one person at home and in your community and another slightly harder-edged person at work.
My point is that hard edges don’t create influence; genuine caring and service to others do.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.
David Nour is a keynote speaker, consultant, and advisor that helps companies (such as Hilton, ThyssenKrupp, Disney, KPMG and over 100 other marquee organizations) drive profitable growth through unique returns on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possess, large and small, public and private.
He is also the author of ten books translated into eight languages, including his new book, Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration (St. Martin’s Press, May 9, 2017).
Contact David Nour to learn more, subscribe to the Blog, sign up for the Rendezvous Newsletter or request his speaking schedule availability for your organization’s next event.