Learn How to Gain More Influence — INFLUENCE SERIES #1

What will you do to get the influence you want?

If you don’t have the level of influence you want, what are you going to do about it? Here, in this first tip influence tip of the series, Joe Friedman highlights the challenges to gaining the influence you want in your personal and professional life and how to go about getting it.


People ask us all the time: “What can I do to build the level of influence that I've got?” Most of the time, they’re concerned about doing that on the job. And yet, every time we teach a class on influence, people are asking: “Can I have more influence with my teenagers?”

Both on the job and in your personal lives, the answer is Yes!

Influence is defined as the ability to sway or effect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or power.

The prestige issue is a challenge. Most people realize they don’t have the level of prestige that they would want or they’d have more influence. The wealth is pretty easy as well. If you had so much money that it allowed you to buy more influence with others, you probably wouldn’t be watching a video like this, or taking classes, or even working where you work.

The ability to create influence for ourselves comes from our opportunity to manage the perception of our ability by others. And it begs the question: What are you going to do about that?

If you find that you do have the level of influence you want with others, it’s because they recognize your ability. If you don’t have the level of influence you want, it’s because others don’t recognize your skills, your talents. What are you going to do about that? That’s the challenge of influence.

Two things you need if you want to build your influence with others:

  1. You need to be willing to create a plan. Most of us are so busy focused on the right here and now—getting the things checked off our list that pile up on our desk everyday—that we’re not thinking about how do we build our influence. You need a plan.

  2. The second thing you need to do is to stretch outside your comfort one. You want others to see you differently? It is something totally under your control.

It is not going to fall into your lap unless you are Powerball-winning lucky. And if you think the organization that you work for is looking out for you, think again. You may work for a wonderful organization. You may have a great boss. Your boss, at some level, is looking out for himself or herself. Your boss at some level is concerned about her own career path. And then let’s say that there are five other people besides you who report to that manager... How much time does your manager have to look out for you?

You are in the best position to look out for yourself.

So it keeps coming back to this question: If you want more influence, what are you going to do about it?