The Key to Success: Understanding and Constructively Using Our Influence

Although all humans desire success, not everyone sees it the same way. There are many stereotypes about success, and these can sometimes get in the way when people realize that they have achieved their goals.

My experience shows that success comes from understanding our personal influence and using it in a positive manner. Leaders understand that it’s not the control they have over others that makes them successful, but it’s their ability to positively influence others to accomplish goals and develop as human beings. 

Here are some tips to help us achieve the success we desire. 

1. Slow down

The ability to slow down is one of the key habits that successful people have. Slowing down allows us to become more aware — more mindful — of our thoughts, words, decisions, actions, and reactions, which all define our influence. You can become more aware of your environment. 

2. Learn from the experts

When we give ourselves the opportunity to listen, we ensure that we’re truly present for the conversation and we are able to listen to learn. Being open to learning can improve our ability to be objective, compassionate, and to see that others may have different opinions. We create an atmosphere for all people to grow and learn from each other. This can be difficult if the person with whom we’re conversing doesn’t choose to slow down or listen to learn. However, by using our positive influence we can show them how to do it. If necessary, ask them if they would like to continue the conversation another time, but don’t completely dismiss their points. It is important to take the time to listen and slow down to lead.

“The best way for us to perhaps influence others is to instead focus on ourselves by doing our best – then others will be influenced from our leadership by example.” – Lisa Kardos

3. The best policy is honesty

If we find ourselves in conversations in which the other party isn’t listening to learn or slowing down to give full attention to the situation, our ability to be honest about their inattention and cursory decision-making can steer the other person back on track. Being honest can help us bring people back to the moment and allow us to achieve our common goals. Being honest can also help us influence others because they trust that we will tell the truth.  

4. Learn to delegate effectively

It is important to manage delegation when leading and managing teams. The process involves careful selection to ensure that the appropriate person is given the assigned task. The key is to recognize the best person to do the job. Team members may become disengaged from the shared goal if the delegation isn’t done with care. Think about the telephone game we played as kids; if we didn’t communicate the message appropriately to the chosen person, the meaning became muddled or lost.  

5. Create a positive culture

Culture is the people. It’s formed by our whole team. To achieve success, everyone must work together in a supportive environment. Positive team cultures are the result of allowing everyone to slow down and listen, use honesty, delegate well, and take responsibility for their actions. These are just a part of creating a positive environment. The foundation of a positive workplace culture is built when the environment is safe and people feel comfortable expressing themselves. By the way we act and how we influence others, we decide what kind of culture we want to create.  

It’s true that success has many forms, but if we’re looking to build success that several individuals can revel in, we must understand our influence. As leaders, our most important responsibility is understanding that our influence on others matters, and it’s through our influence that others become inspired to provide their best work, help our clients, add to a positive culture, and much more. Helping our team members to understand how they contribute to team success and giving them a purpose to keep striving will ensure their team success — as well as our own.  

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