It’s amazing how much influence and power you have, or can be given. A definition of influence is: “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.” Some of this power, however, may be positive, or more harmful than you realize; what you say, and the example you set can change people more that you may be aware of.
People We Influence
There are many people in our lives that we affect, the list below states some of the obvious, but there are those that we may not even think about.
I think we all realize the impact we have on our children’s lives. From the time they are young children just learning to talk to when they become adults. I could write a book on this topic, but here I will only address a couple of points. One of the most obvious but sometimes most overlooked is not only what we say to our children, but is what we are saying consistent with the actions we ourselves take? A simple example, is do we tell our children not to use swear words, but yet when they hear us talking to our friends we use those words? So we say one thing, but do another. That influences and teaches our child what you say and what you do can be different.
Another example is about a friend of mine, who is a Dad to a 6 year old. He is always complaining about his job, he rarely helps with housework, he always seems to be moping around, never enthused or excited, he always has some major issue in his life. You can now see the same attitude developing in his child. So the repercussion of this father’s behavior is now being seen in a child who never seems to be happy, who never seems to help out, and always seems to have a problem.
What our children watch on TV, the Internet they look at, can have repercussion due to the type of influence it is having on a child. Be involved in these things with your children. You may be modeling a certain behaviror but they may be seeing a total different behavior from the TV or Internet. Children are like sponges, they absorb all they hear and see.
We may think that we do not have any clout with our co-workers. But just thinking about yourself, if you are around someone who is upbeat and enthusiastic doesn’t that influence you and your attitude towards your work? And if you are around someone who is always complaining, and criticizing the company, doesn’t that usually bring you down, actually influencing you in a negative way. So why not be the type of person that you would like to work with. You have the control to choose your attitude towards how you feel and act.
I was reminded of influential power just the other day when I jokingly remarked to a colleague that all they seemed to do throughout the day was eat. The response from my colleague, “You are going to give me a complex”, reawakened my thinking that some of us can negatively influence people without even being aware that we are doing so.
How we talk, what we do all has an impact on our spouse; just something as simple as saying, Good Morning. Our spouses know us best, and they can tell just by the tone of our voice how we are feeling. And, at times, we take for granted the ones we are closest to and do not consider the significance we have in our actions on their lives.
As A Leader
In any leadership role we play a vital part on how people act and how people respond. We set the tone, and the majority of the time people want to please their leader as they feel their job is dependent on it. If you want to get the best from your subordinates you must create an environment of trust and openness. It is not good enough to just say those words, your actions must demonstrate your willingness to hear things that perhaps you don’t want to or don’t agree with.
People You Meet
Take a simple facial expression, a smile, and a one-word greeting, ‘hello’.
It is astounding how much impact this simple greeting can have on a total stranger when you pass them on the street. A simple smile and a hello can do wonders for someone’s spirit who may be a little down at the moment, feeling a bit unappreciated, or feeling all alone with their own issues or concerns.
A simple gesture like opening a door for someone can impact a person’s day. Sometimes the little things make a big difference. Everyone has a burden and just exhibiting kindness can influence others to do the same.
I remember the first time someone “passed it on” to me. I was travelling on a toll highway. I stopped at the toll booth and the operator told me to have a great day. I tried to give them the money for the toll but they told me the person in front of me paid my toll for me. I was pleasantly surprised. I had never experienced this before; it made my day! So what did I do? I paid for the car behind me. A total stranger influenced and brightened my day for me by paying a 50 cent toll. A small thing that made a big difference in my day. So, yes you can influence a total stranger in a positive way.
First, is that you cannot influence others unless they give you the power to do so because we all have a choice.
Second, we can choose to be influenced or affected by others or their actions, or we can choose not to. Just like you can lead a horse to water, you cannot make it drink unless it wants to.
And, third, some of what we may consider to be our most innocent actions or lack of actions can help or hinder.
Influence is a valuable commodity and one that should not be squandered or abused. Unfortunately, some people are very vulnerable at certain times in their lives and can be negatively influenced by those who actually know that they are using their vulnerability against them.
They openly choose to verbally lead them down a path that can eventually bring them harm. In these cases, the person is so psychologically weak that they do not have a choice.
Be Aware . . .
of what you say and how you act. You may be affecting more people than you could imagine. If you consciously think about this as your day starts, and you commit to being a positive influence to every person you met, you will find you will have a great day also!Influential power we all have it, use your positively!
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” Jim Rohn
“The more positive you think, the more positivity you attract. A positive person has the ability to light up the mood of everyone around just by entering a room.” Robert Smith
“You are in charge of your feelings, beliefs, and actions. And you teach others how to behave toward you. While you cannot change other people, you can influence them through your own behaviors and actions. By being a living role model of what you want to receive from others, you create more of what you want in your life.” Eric Allenbaugh
“People who try to change their actions without changing their thinking eventually end up right back where they started.” Tim VanDerKamp
“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions. A chip on the shoulder is too heavy a piece of baggage to carry through life.” John Hancock
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