Tag Archives: reputation

Influence, Reputation and Power

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“In the quantum world, relationship is the key determiner of everything…there is increasing support for his [James Lovelock] hypothesis that the earth is a self-regulating system, a planetary community of interdependent systems that together create the conditions which make life possible.” By Margaret Wheatley

Power can have a negative connotation attached to it, however, all human relationships are based on power (the ability to influence the actions of other people). This is particularly true for business, whether you run your own business, lead a team or are the president of the school committee. The truth is power is a neutral term, one can use it for good or ill.

In a growing business it is necessary to accomplish everything we set up to do and there is nothing wrong with seeking to increase your power, as long as the rights of other people are respected. Most of us rely on power to get things done. Robert Greene in The 48 Laws of Power, argues that no one is completely exempt for dealing with others, which inevitably involves Power.

According to Josh Kaufman, the use of Power typically takes one of two forms:

– Influence, the ability to encourage someone else to want what you suggest

– Compulsion, the ability to force someone else to do what you command

Much has been written about Influencing skills, Dale Carnegie author of How to win friends and influence people says that “The deepest craving in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”. Dr. Robert Cialdini in his great book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion tell us about a Harvard University experiment conducted by Ellen Langer, where people providing a reason for jumping the photocopier’s cue where 95% successful, using a reason as lame as “because”. Humans are predisposed to look for behavioural causes. People will be more receptive to any request if you give them a reason. Any reason will do.

Charles Schwab an American steel magnate who lead Bethlehem Steel to became the second largest steel maker in the United States, and one of the most important heavy manufacturers in the world said “The best way to develop the best that is in a person is through appreciation and encouragement”. Providing a safe environment and making people feel appreciated and important are key elements to influence others in the your organisation, team, or your social interactions. Showing Appreciation (expressing your gratitude for what others are doing for you, even if it’s not quite perfect, Courtesy (politeness, pure and simple “accepting small inconveniences on behalf of another person”), Respect (honoring the other person’s status no matter if lower or higher than yours).

If you treat people with Appreciation, Courtesy and Respect in all circumstances, people will feel safe, important and you will be able to influence and persuade others to do what needs to be done.

Promoting a safer workplace with room for appreciation!

OC

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People Join Organisations but Leave Managers

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The reasons for taking a particular job are strongly influenced by the brand and reputation of an organisation. People accept a job because of how they perceive the organisation. However, when the time comes to leave, studies now show that it is often their manager and the leadership that they are leaving, not the organisation. So why do people join an organisation but leave their managers and how can leadership change this?

What we know is that in many instances, when a person leaves and organisation they do so because of external factors that are linked to a particular issue within their team and/or manager. Influencing those “external factors” needs time and effort, and in many cases doesn’t bring the results you were hoping for, leaving you frustrated and deflated. By changing our focus from problem solving to solution centric, create initiatives to retain top talent and be the change we want to see in our team, we can work towards preventive measures.

When managers and leaders change their perspective and look for factors they can actually influence, they start to look at the possibility, not the problem. By changing their perspective managers can look at the opportunity to positively influence and improve the overall performance, mood and essentially influence the results of the team. It is during the practice of this behavioural exercise that people come face to face with factors that are within their control, mainly because it is up to them to modify or change their own outlook and behaviour.

Modifying the behaviour that takes you from the “Why Not” (reasons that make it difficult or get in the way) to the “Why Yes” (what is in my control and reach that I can influence) is one of the most liberating behavioural exercises. As a team we can come out with actions that will change the course of our results, the level of team engagement and the retention of top talent.

In most instances management and teams know what the problem is and consequently spend most of their time and energy discussing the problem, leaving the solution to last when energy and clear thinking is not at their peak. By the time we get to the solution, the energy has been otherwise invested and staff and employees are already emotionally switched off and disengaged. It is therefore how we manage time, energy and focal point that ultimately has a strong impact in the results we achieve and the results we achieve motivate us to stay and work for an influential leader.

Greg Savage has spoken about this topic from his experience in the recruitment industry in this article.

Stephen Covey often speaks of “starting with the end in mind”, I often push my team to “start with the solution in mind”?

How would you motivate your team to be solution centric?