Awareness IMPACT-Your Influencers

Leading Edge from Aegis Learning

Your Influencers

Making IMPACT-Influencers

1.  Examine those that you allow to have influence in your life, choices and decisions using a tiered circle.

2.  Always reserve the highest degree of influence for your own judgment, thoughts and beliefs.

3.  Look at the motives of those you allow to influence you.

4.  Reflect on your own self-worth and self-esteem as it relates to the need for approval and support from influencers.

5.  Look for honest influencers and not those that just validate your thoughts.

6.  Carefully and cautiously allow someone into your inner circle of influence.

The people in our lives have tremendous power and influence with us.  Their thoughts matter.  Their opinions matter.  Their approval matters.

Understanding how each of those people influence our choices, decisions and how we ultimately can live out our purpose is another powerful step on the road to real self-awareness.  We hope that the people closest to us and who have a high degree of influence over our choices have our best interests at heart but, sadly, that is not always the case.  It is only through examination that we can see what our influencers have for motivations and desired outcomes for us and in turn, allow us to manage who we allow to influence our actions.

We have used this type of activity for years when working with one of the key leadership competencies, relationship power and external management, and it works extremely well for examining our influencers more closely.

The Core Influencer

Draw a dot or small circle at the center of a piece of paper.  This is you.  The highest degree of influence that should occur in your decisions, choices, actions and behavior is you.  You are, or should be the center of your influence universe.

This is where you and I must learn to trust our own judgment, values and choices.  Stop being so anxious to share each choice set and decision in your life with others seeking their approval or opinion.  If it works for you, you feel right about it, it fits your core values and is congruent with your purpose; go with it.  The opinions and what others would do is extremely less important than many of us think.

Over-solicitation of input is a sign of low self-esteem and projected in either a lack of confidence or a false bravado of courage.  True trust of your own choices and decisions is quiet and does not seek lots of input nor require a puffing public proclamation.

Tier One

Next draw a small circle outside of the you dot or circle.  This is your closest sphere of influencers and the people that you have allowed the strongest voice in your life.  This population should be small.  The more people you allow significant voice and influence, the greater confusion, second guessing and poor choices you will make.

This little band must be beyond reproach.  The motives of this group must be purely for your best interest, connect completely with your core values and understand your purpose and personal vision.  Any doubt about a motive or the reason for the connection and that person does not belong in your inner circle of influence.  This group will also be static over time as well and the members will not change much.  Who was a trusted inner circle member ten years ago is likely to remain if you are correctly vetting these relationships.

Tiers Two and Three

The second layer of your relationships and relationship strength is where you may solicit some input over unimportant things and certainly not on life-altering matters.  These people are not know well enough to understand their motives in offering you advice and they certainly don’t know your purpose, passions or core values much more than a cursory level.  These people are friends, relatives and business associates but not the deeply connected ones and some may have expertise in an area but not universally to influence major choices of yours.

By the time you start looking at the third ring on your paper you are now looking mostly at acquaintances or those you are friendly with but not really friends.  If you welcome influence from this population you are doing nothing more than conducting a poll or shopping for an answer that you want to hear.

General Influencer Rules

When you really look deeply into the people you allow influence you need to make sure those people provide you with genuine truth and not just what they think you want to hear.  People that share the good and bad in a forthright manner should have a permanent place as your influencer.  Those that simply agree with you or don’t call you on your crap should be shown a place in an outer circle.

Likewise, if an influencer is trying to curry favor or wants something from you, they have no real influencer value.  Think about those people who offer hollow compliments related to appearance or those that come across too gushing about some achievement of yours.  Nice, absolutely but no value as an influencer.

The final general though about an influencer is the most controversial.  Many times those personally closest (spouse, significant other, new boyfriend, parent) are not the best influencers because they lack the objectivity to be completely honest and their motives are tainted by their close relationship with you.

Take some time over the next few days and see who you allow high degrees of influence in your life and if they should be in that position.  But most importantly, make sure the highest degree of influence always rests with you.

Tim Schneider is the founder of Aegis Learning and has been working with teams and leaders for 25 years.   He generates results, impact and his sole focus is your success.

He is the author of The Ten Competencies of Outstanding Leadership and Beyond Engagement and a widely sought speaker, training facilitator and individual development coach.

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