While coaching one of my private clients recently, I had one of those “I’VE BEEN TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THIS!” moments!
I love those!
The coaching call started off perfectly normal. He came to the call, I asked him what his biggest challenge was that he wanted to break-through in today’s session and he told me. Off we go!
My client had a challenging interaction coming up that he wanted to prepare for with me so he could achieve the best possible outcome for all involved. Great! Piece of cake!
As I always do when I’m about to teach someone the master skills of “Influence” I spouted off my typical warning…
“I completely believe in what you are doing and that it’s for the greatest good of all, so I will teach you part of the art and the science of influencing others because I trust you to always use this skill for good and not to manipulate others.”
I was always very careful not to teach “influence” on a broad scale because I was concerned that the skills I teach would be used to manipulate others for someone’s own ego-serving desires and not for the greatest good of all. It’s a powerful skill to have and I didn’t want to teach someone who would then go out and about influencing others with less than positive motive.
In explaining one of the pillars of influence to my client, I created a new distinction that totally changed everything! I love when that happens.
The pillar (and this is only ONE of the pillars of influence) that I was explaining was that when two people engage, and there is rapport, the person with the most confidence and the most congruency will ALWAYS influence the other person.
As I explained that “congruency” means that your words, your actions, your movement, your energy and your intentions are all in alignment…I had my aha moment!
In order for you to influence ANYONE you must be congruent. Therefore, someone who does NOT have positive intentions for the greatest good of all, will LACK congruency when they engage with another person! Meaning, their energy and intention will not be in alignment with their words.
Thus, someone trying to manipulate or exert less than positive intent would not be able to successfully influence someone else even if they learned the SKILLS of influence!
So I really can teach “influence” to a larger audience without “screening” who will USE it for good vs evil….because it can’t effectively be used for “evil” since the execution would lack congruency and the influence would not be effective!
Whooo Hoooooo!!!! So awesome!!!!
So today I want to share with you TWO of the master skills of influence that I shared with my client! I would love to share more with you, but in the brief time we have together, I can only squeeze in two!
Key to Influence #1: Intention is essential!
Influence is not a bad word!!!
For me, influence is always used for the highest good, to influence others to come from their highest self and act from love and not fear.
When your intention is to influence someone to be MORE of who they really are, to step into life, be more authentic, come from service and act from love instead of fear, then influence is a divine tool!
I do not influence others to get to my greatest good, that’s manipulation (the negative flavor of manipulation).
If you do that kind of crap, you should know that it rarely works anymore anyway.
When you enter a situation with the intention of influencing the other person for your own gain, they immediately feel that. Then they get defensive and protective, they focus their energy on their own gain and now no one wins because neither of you want to “give it up” to the other person. You already KNOW that.
You’ve probably been on the receiving end of this kind of interaction and needed to protect or remove yourself from engaging with someone so they wouldn’t “take advantage” of you. How much influence did they have with you? None, right? You can see them coming a mile away.
That’s why the ONLY way to effectively influence anyone is to come from the energy of service!
To walk into every situation looking to discover the win-win-win for everyone’s greatest good. Win for you, win for them and win for the greater good (the universe).
When you enter the situation with THAT as your outcome, your influence-ability just skyrocketed!
Mind you, there are still several more pillars to effective influence, so you’re not a master influencer just yet. But this is where it begins.
So the next time you are approaching a situation where your intention is to INFLUENCE the other person, be sure to check in with yourself!
Is your intention to influence them to agree to what YOU want? That’s ok, no judgment and don’t beat yourself up. But just be conscious of the fact that your ability to INFLUENCE the other person is really slim when that is your intention, because they will FEEL that…just like you feel it when someone comes at you intending to influence you to what they want.
If your intention is NOT to discover the win-win-win then you are not ready yet! Your outcome must be for the win-win-win! If you are stuck here, key #2 will help!!
KEY to Influence #2: You Must Release “THE HOW”!
You cannot be set in HOW you get to your outcome if you are seeking to influence others to the greatest good.
If you are attached to the HOW, then you’re not going to influence the other person, you’re just engaging in a conversation about whether or not they will come over to your side. And they “may” or they “may not” depending on whether or not it meets their needs.
When your intention is to discover the win-win-win, the key is to be OPEN to the perspective and insights from the other person or people you engage with. Your intention is to stay focused on the outcome that is for the greatest good for all. HOW you get there is very flexible! There are always at least three ways to do anything!
In intimate relationships, people are often trying to influence their partner to get what they want. If it’s not working for you (and it rarely does), perhaps these KEYS will give you some insight into why your approach is not working, and what you need to do in order to effectively influence your partner!
So here’s the thing…INFLUENCE is NOT a bad word!
Somewhere along the way “Influence” became a bad word and folks started believing that influence was something you did TO people for your own gain.
When you effectively influence others, you do it FOR them, to help them get out of their own way, release from fear, and move forward toward their greatest good and the greatest good for all!
I trust that you will begin your path towards influencing others and use it only FOR GOOD! Because the truth is, when your intention is less than positive, you won’t influence anyone anyway!!!
2 thoughts on “When did INFLUENCE become a bad word?!”
Very good article Stacey. Indeed Influence is not a bad word. I feel that we so much moved towards demanding and expecting to get our own way that we forgot to learn and apply the art of influencing,
Great distinction!!! Demanding and expecting block our ability to influence, so I love your distinction here!!! Thanks for contributing!! Love yOU!
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