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Posted on Jul 7, 2017

The One Thing That Will Help You Influence Others

The One Thing That Will Help You Influence Others

Unless you live alone on an island, the need to influence others is extensive and endless. For example:

  • You are tasked with introducing something new at work, but expect a lot of resistance from employees.
  • You feel there’s an important change that must happen in your local school district, or many children will be negatively impacted.
  • You know that if the decisions of your teenager don’t change soon, bad things are going to happen.
  • You have a heart to help a neighbor who is having a hard time right now, but is proud and refuses your help.

These are all different aspects of leadership, and as John Maxwell says “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” While many people want to lead, they lack the ability to effectively influence.

The problem is simple. The solution takes a little work.

Poor leaders are busy thinking, “How do I get others to agree with my way of thinking?” Successful leaders shift their focus to answering the question, “What’s important to those impacted by the change I’m convinced needs to happen?

The one thing that will help you influence others is becoming sincerely interested in them.

If you want to become a person of influence, I encourage you to carefully consider the advice offered by Dale Carnegie, which I talked about in a Values Quote a few years ago.

May you learn the joy – and power – of becoming interested in others. You’ll not only increase your ability to make a positive impact through your influence, you’ll also make a lot of new friends.

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Today’s quote is from Dale Carnegie, the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

From his bestselling book “How to Win Friends & Influence People” Carnegie states:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

Carnegie learned first hand the value of influence.

As a differentiating value, Influence means a power to affect persons or events; or determine and shape events and outcomes.

Carnegie’s understanding of influence can be traced back to when he began teaching public speaking in 1912. When he discovered the technique that would help speakers become unafraid to address an audience, Carnegie had found his lever of influence.

He not only had a positive impact on others, he changed lives. And he did that by being more interested in them than getting them interested in him.

If you want to influence others, I encourage you to embrace Carnegie’s statement. When you show real, honest interest in others, then the door will be opened to affect them and change lives.

But remember, influence is power. It should only be used for good!

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