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How to be More Influential

03 Nov

How to be More Influential

Posted By: 
Kaitlyn Guay

Have you ever felt like no matter what you did, you were powerless to influence the actions of others?

Regardless of our chosen path and purpose, we all want to be influential. Having the ability to influence the world we live in is something all human beings want, whether it’s as small as wanting to influence the decision to get pizza or chinese, or as big as wanting to influence others to reduce their carbon footprint by choosing renewable energy choices.

This video by @FightMediocrity gives three actionable tips as to how we can become more influential.

1) Be a Chameleon

No, this doesn’t mean to carry around a makeup palette and camo-paint yourself into the background. In this case, it means to adopt the simple animal behavior known as mirroring. Mirroring another’s posture, mannerisms, and tone, quickly establishes a connection through an unconscious recognition of familiarity. Once a positive connection has been made, it is far easier to hold influence. This is a technique successful negotiators, interviewees, and even waiters use to improve their outcome.

2) Harness the Drive to be Different

Comparison is a tricky thing. While comparing ourselves and our choices to others’ can inspire and educate us, it can also create dissatisfaction and feelings of inadequacy if given too much power over our decisions. For young students, the study of self-exploration is just as important as the study of algebra or geography. The more we uncover about what we truly think about things, the easier it becomes to go confidently go left when others go right. We influence others by knowing our own mind.

3) Pick a Proximal Peer

Studies have shown that the best way to influence change is through comparison. People are more likely to reduce their energy consumption, train for a 10K, or offer food to someone in need if they know their peers are doing the same. However, to keep this comparison a healthy influence, the peer chosen to motivate us along must be at a proximal-- or similar-- level. After all, training for your first 10K with an Olympic marathon runner for a partner would likely not be a positive experience. Choosing a peer who can push you by being just a little bit better than you has been proven to have great influence.

There you have it: three tips to being more influential. Mirror others in conversation, know and value your own mind, and choose wisely those who can help inspire you to grow.

Where in your world would you like to be influential?