“You are always making people feel something: are you aware of what that is?” Author and motivational speaker Ed Mylett asked that question at Maxwell Leadership’s most recent Live2Lead leadership development conference in Atlanta. As leaders, sometimes it’s hard to recognize if we’re influencing people in the ways we want – ways that lead to powerful, positive change in our team members and in our organizations. Ed shared that if you hope to influence people positively, you need to know the answer to that question. Here are some additional insights from Ed as you continue your personal growth and development as a leader.
Leadership Coaching Insights on Increasing your Ability to Influence and Persuade
Most people do not see you the way that you see yourself. This means you need to decide what you want people to feel and then take intentional actions to make it so. Whether it is the people on your team that know you or someone meeting you for the first time, your ability to influence is affected by how and what you make people feel.
Mind Your Face
I once had a team member confide in me that people found me intimidating. I was stunned. That’s not what I want people to feel about me. They shared that my size, deep voice, and stern look caused most people to pull back from engaging with me. Then the team member added a comment that changed me forever, “You are a different person when you smile.”
Most of us are different people when we smile. So why was I not minding my face and smiling more? Because I was not intentionally trying to be approachable. I thought people saw my good intentions and my desire to help them. I didn’t understand that they couldn’t get past my intimidating look.
Recognize that Influence is Energy
Influence is often felt through your energy. People read your energy level and decide – consciously or unconsciously – whether they will allow themselves to be influenced by you. I often have to remind myself of EIEO (Energy In, Energy Out). The energy you bring to the environment is usually the energy you will get back. People who consistently convey low energy can often struggle to be effective in their influence.
Decide What You Want to be Known For
This is a question for both you and your organization. If you surveyed the people on your team and asked them, “what is our cause?” what do you think they would say? Would they say the cause is to make another dollar for the company, or would it be more meaningful? It isn’t easy to exhibit energy and passion and be influential if we are unclear about our cause or what we want our legacy as a leader or an organization to be.
Be Evangelical about Your Cause
If you are intentional about what you make people feel and bring the right energy level to what you are doing, the next influence builder is to be evangelical about your cause. To be evangelical means believing deeply in what you are doing and then sharing that belief with others.
If you want to be an influential leader, you will need to pay attention to what you make people feel, how your energy is perceived, and how approachable you are. If you want your organization to be known as a company people want to partner with to achieve their desired outcomes, you need to be clear not only on your cause, but also how you share that cause.
About Ed Mylett
Ed decided from a very young age that since he would have to work in life, he might as well work for himself and call his own shots. Today, Ed is one of the premier business leaders, peak performance experts, and motivational speakers in the world. He has a passion for mentoring and coaching others on what it takes to become a champion in all areas of life. He is a best-selling author, host of the top-rated Max Out Your Life Podcast, and speaks all over the world.
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