Category Archives: Influence

your work matters

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
― Aldous Huxley

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Imagine working for a company that wants to make work exciting, fun and challenging while offering top quality service and yet not all companies care about their people, those both inside and outside the business.  There are organizations that value their staff and the result is that the employees desire to do their best for their customers and for the company.

Recently I’ve come across a number of people who are being bullied within their company, micro-managed and intimated by threat or coercive pressures by poor management practices.  The bully doesn’t belong as a leader or manager in any company and yet they find a way to maintain a position of power in their organization.     Results matter and how they are achieved matter as well.

There are some companies that boost results and have better ways to manage people and better ways to get results as well.

Take a look at these values, what do you think?   Is it a top company?  Does this company value its employees and customers?

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

What company do you think has these values as part of their business structure?

The company that has these values is Zappos.   Is this an organization you’d like to work for?

What kind of organization do you want to be a part of?   What kind of culture would you fit best into?

epistemic closure … thinking inside the box

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
-Mark Twain

Epistemic closure has been described as being locked into  your own narrow world view.   It has been described as the unwillingness to look outside the box because it may mean change or it may mean throwing away something that you are holding on to for security.

Recently I talked to a person who was locked in a box,  a box called a terrible career, a career that created stress and tears.   There was no energy going into work and there was less leaving work.   How many people are trapped into doing what they dislike because they believe there is nothing else for them to do.

Then I have heard people say, “Today I got fired”.    The job was so miserable it couldn’t be faced and now there is nothing but a sea of opportunity available.  It may not look like opportunity when a job is taken away or given up until there is a realization that there is more to life than a job.   Certainly work is important, if the work you are dong is important.   If you are making a contribution, if you are feeling significant and appreciated doing what you are doing and if it gets you out of bed in the morning than you are doing what very few people do.

Take a few steps to find out what you really want.

1. Observe.   Observe your thoughts.  Observe your feelings.   Listen to your internal language.   What do you hear, see and feel?    Write those things down.

2. What is your level of stress today?   On a scale of 1-10 (1, being low and 10, being high).   What is your stress level?

3. Notice what you have time for?    Notice what you don’t have time for?  Is it what you want to be doing?

4. Pay attention to your words that you speak to others.   Are you telling them the truth or are you hiding behind your truth?

Take a safari through your heart and discover what is inside.   Is it what you want?   Observe, listen, pay attention and feel your life.   What is it telling you?

If life is a dance, are you dancing or waiting?

Think about thinking … take a look. (It is business focused, but think about it in your context)

what words …

Sometimes words reach out from the page a grab us.   Sometimes what we read pulls in with a warm embrace.   Sometimes the message finds a soft spot in our hearts.   Sometimes words give us the courage to face another day.   Our words are important no matter what form they may take.

What words comfort you?   What words challenge you?   What words do you use?

“Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is. “, wrote Blaise Pascal.

Thank-you!

Choose your words wisely!

“It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being gratefulfor every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”   Wallace D. Wattles

 

 

in·flu·ence

“Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power. ”
Henry George

Influence is what changes the world.   A small idea that springs to life and becomes world-changing is an act of influence.   Take a look at the power of something like the iPad.  This device is becoming a force of influence and a force for change.  Schools are using iPad’s to transform the learning experience and change the next generation of learners.

What is influence and how does it work?

Influence is the ability to shift a thought, action or a belief.   Influence is a natural power that everyone has and the rules are embodied in the social fabric and culture and are seemingly invisible.

Everyday you are being targeted by people who specialize in influencing your choices.   What makes something better?   What makes the time right to make a purchase?   What creates a need?

How does someone influence you?

1. They may give you a gift.    The natural reaction is to desire to return something to the giver of the gift.   Marketers give inexpensive things to people using the idea of reciprocity (desire to give back something) as a way to create a desire to make a purchase.     The next time you do someone a favor and they thank-you for the help you gave reply by saying “You’re welcome, I know you’d do the same for me.”, and this will create an unspoken obligation.

2. Scarcity.   Anytime anything becomes rare or exclusive the desire for that thing become greater.   “Only 3 left”, “only 5 minutes left”, “almost sold out”, or “final day”, these statements create a sense that something is going to be gone or that you’re going to be left without if you don’t take action.   You only have 5 minutes before the 50% off sale ends.     People react to scarcity with an increased desire for that service or product.  It works!

3. Being the expert.   If you are an expert in a given area you will have influence.   You probably wouldn’t seek out advice from someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic you want to know more about.   The expert has credibility and that means the ability to influence.

4. Charisma or being liked.   People like to do things with people they like.  Friends have influence over you or they would likely not be a friend.  You trust others who have similar or the same likes.     People often rely on their friends for advice on making purchases as in “What kind of car would you buy?”

5. Listening to what others say.   When you are trying to make a decision there is a good chance that you’ll seek out the opinions of other people.   What is the experience other people have had with a product or service.   “Would you do business with them?” .  People look for ways to lower their risk of making a decision.   Testimonials help provide that social proof that there was positive results.

6. By creating commitments.   When you make a commitment to doing something there is a strong chance that you’ll honor that commitment.   People who make commitments to some cause will likely do the work when they are asked, it doesn’t  take much to convince them to act in line with their commitment.   Honoring a commitment is something people do to maintain their integrity.

Robert Cialdini the acclaimed expert on influence speaks to Success Magazine readers and talks about areas of influence.

What are you influenced by?   How are you influenced?