I am a little concerned about my readers. My most read blogs so far were about me with a possible DUI, and the one about me having something stolen from me. It seems you desire some sort of demise into my life – you’re a bit of a fatalistic voyeur. Makes me a bit squeamish.
But, you continue to read. Hopefully, something positive will impact your life. And that brings me to today’s topic – being an influence. I have known people who taught Carnegie’s work on winning friends and influencing people. I have known leaders who teach how to instigate or lead through change. But influence is not just for leaders or those who’ve have completed and been certified through a course. Influence is something we all should have wherever we journey and with whomever we journey. It is clear that my main influence is in the home – as a husband and a father. My role as pastor was an obvious role of influence – but as I am now at a hotel, I am enjoying building relationships and getting know others. A few of my coworkers read this blog – and that excites me to know I am making a connection.
I once read an illustration of a high school cross country event. The leader of the pack was an established runner and highly expected to win the race. But somewhere along the path, the leader took a wrong turn. And then something else happened – all those behind him took the same turn. Before long, they were all about a mile off course before anyone realized it. The effect that runner had shows the impact of influence – we can take people further along or further away. I really want to influence others in a positive way.
Jesus talks about this in a very clear way when He says we are the salt of the earth – a light to the world. Salt brings flavor, preserves, and is essential to life. But what are some of the ways we are salt. What are some ways we can use the opportunities to be an influence to those around us. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is some good points from a variety of sources.
As you read through each of these, ask yourself how you can immediately apply these in your relationships with others.
1 – Develop the relationship, build a rapport. It is not about making yourself better, but helping others be better. Lift them up.
2 – Be Genuine. Admit your faults and mistakes, and the lessons you learned from and through them. Mistakes show you as human and can build respect when they see you as an overcomer.
3 – Give leeway and be forgiving. Tearing another person down benefits no one. Providing escapes and protections from embarrassment will build trust and openness to influence.
4 – Be positively personable. Use their name – it shows an investment. And smile a lot. Carnegie writes about the importance and impact of a smile.
A smile is nature’s best antidote for discouragement.
It brings rest to the weary,
Sunshine to those who are frowning,
And hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.
A smile is so valuable that it can’t be bought,
Begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will.
You have to be willing to give a smile away
Before it can do anyone else any good.
So if someone is too tired or grumpy to flash you a smile,
Let him have one of yours anyway.
Nobody needs a smile as much
As the person who has none to give.
5 – Be accepting of others – and see life from their point of view. This is not about agreement but about respect of the person. They have their own story and reasons.
6 – Acknowledge the value, ideas, and accomplishments of others.
7 – Spark the passion with in them. Build on their desires and passions. It shows interest and investment.
These are just a few – there are plenty more. But by investing in others in a positive, personal way – it will develop the opportunity to be an influence. You are an influencer – will you be a good one? Will you be be the best you can be for others?
Be the Salt – Be the Light. Make a difference in the lives of others!!