Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Become More Influential No Matter Your Job Title

If you sometimes feel powerless at work – even if you’re in a position of authority – you’re not alone. You may have tried pleading with others to cooperate, or even issued more than a few subtle threats.
Such tactics may work for a while, but they’re usually not lasting and others will soon become resentful of your behavior.
So how do you become one of those people that others really listen to? One of those people like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh who has become a real influencer?
In a new book, “Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In,” authorsMark Goulston  and John Ullmen  provide insight into how some people become successful like Hsieh while others remain frustrated in their efforts despite their intelligence or good intentions.
The problem, the authors say, is that you cannot view influence as something you “do” to get your own way, as a means to an end. Instead, you have to make a commitment to try to really understand others, collaborate with them and seek to inspire them with your actions.
In a recent interview with Anita Bruzzese, Goulston added more insight into the idea of having real influence.

AB: What is a “power influencer” and how do you become one?
MG: A power influencer is someone who influences you for a lifetime. They are the people who interact with you in such a way that it changes your life forever.  Common, but not universal qualities of a power influencer are that they will: a) stand up for you in public when you cannot tand up for yourself; b) stand by you in a crisis and not let you fail; and/or c) stand up to you in private and push you to do things you didn’t think you were capable of or stop you from doing something foolish that would have seriously damaged your results, reputation and relationships.

AB:  In the book you talk about “disconnected influence.” Can you explain?
MG: A person becomes disconnected when the pressure of getting results in any way or any cost (as long as it is this side of illegal and blatantly unethical) corrupts their core values.  It’s when they lose their essential goodness and sell out.  The fallout is that they get better results and make more money in the short run, but if they are people of good conscience, they will start to drink, eat more, act out and at the end of their life fail as a person.

AB:  Why is it important that if you want to influence someone else, you have to be “influenceable” yourself? And what does that look like?
MG: It’s not critical, but it is very helpful to have been influenced by another person, because (read more here)

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