How to Be an Influencer: The Top 10 Qualities You Need.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
That’s one question you must have answered as a child, and as you grew up you must have asked other kids too.
The answer to that question varies widely.
You would have heard answers like actor, banker, president, comedian footballer, doctor, millionnaire, writer, evangelist, blogger……
The point is, We all have dreams and aspirations. A number of them we may have achieved whereas we are yet to achieve some. My greatest desire is to help you achieve your dreams and goals; to help you realize your potential as well as impact the lives of people.
Ok then, let’s get back to the question,
“What do you want to be when you grow up?
Your answer to that question, and as a matter of fact anybody’s answer to that question, oftentimes is as a result of the inspiration you draw from one person or persons who you perceive have succeeded at that thing that you dream of achieving.
Or not famous like your teacher in Sunday school, your dad or mum or just any random individual you happen to hear/read about who inspires you.
Whether you know it or not, that person has an influence on you; because you do not have to be in a high-profile position to be a person of influence.
Everyone is a Person of Influence.
Bottom line is, everyone is a person of influence. Everyone is an influencer of other people. In fact, if your life in any way connects with other people’s lives, you are an influencer.
Since, all that you do at home, on your job, in church, or wherever has an impact on somebody else’s life; then, being a person of influence is about the most powerful quality you must possess.
You have Influence even if you’re not a social media influencer. If your life in any way connects with other people’s lives, you are an influencer.
According to Leadership expert John C. Maxwell, “Without influence, there is no success. No matter what your goals are in life or what you want to accomplish, you can achieve them faster, you can be more effective, and the contribution you make can be longer-lasting if you learn how to become a person of influence.”
Considering that social media has become an integral part of our lives, people everywhere now have platforms through which they can potentially influence others.
According to Upcontent, everyone has influence and can stand out even in a social media world. As a result, it is now more important than ever to understand what being influential means, how to gain influence and use your influence to impact the world even if you have zero social media following. Let’s dive in.
WHAT IS INFLUENCE?
The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines influence “as the power to affect the way someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks, without using direct force or orders.”
In short, having influence is having the ability to impact others. It is the ability to persuade, the ability to sway people to work together towards achieving a common goal.
On Ranker.com there is a list of the most influential people of all time. According to them, “ each of the individuals on the list has a significant effect on how regular people live their lives today and have had a large impact on how modern society works.”
The names that appear on this list come from different walks of life. They include religious figures, composers, scientists, authors, world leaders and revolutionists, and even blacksmiths. Anyone can be influential one way or the other.
Can you guess who is number one on this list?
You guessed right! It is JESUS CHRIST
He is the most influential person of all time!
HOW TO GAIN INFLUENCE AND IMPACT YOUR WORLD
In his book Becoming a Person of Influence, best-selling author John C. Maxwell very well captured who an Influencer is
- A person of Influence has Integrity with People.
- A person of Influence Nurtures Other People.
- A person of Influence has Faith in People.
- A person of Influence Listens to People.
- A person of Influence Understands People.
- A person of Influence Enlarges People.
- A person of Influence Navigates for Other People.
- A person of Influence Connects with People.
- A person of Influence Empowers People.
- A person of Influence Reproduces Other Influencers.
Becoming an INFLUENCER couldn’t get any simpler.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these qualities you need to have to be an impactful influencer
Integrity with People
Having Integrity means living a life of consistent and unyielding honesty and upholding of moral principles and values. Almost everywhere you look, you see examples of people who display a moral collapse. However, Integrity is totally important for anyone who desires to be an influencer.
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”C.S. Lewis
You may wonder, “why is integrity important?” The reason is people trust you when you have integrity. When they trust you, you earn their confidence and your level of influence increases.
To become a person of integrity, you will need to make some tough choices on a daily basis but it would be worth it. John C. Maxwell summarises such choices like this: “Make a specific, conscious decision to live by a strict moral code; decide ahead of time that you won’t sell your integrity for any price; consistently do what is right in the little things; everyday make sure you do what you should do before what you want to do.”
Nurtures Other People
Whenever you hear the word nurture, what comes to your mind? A mother caring for a baby? Yes, you are right because a baby is usually nurtured by its mother. All around you, people need to be cared for. Nurturing is the process of caring for people both physically and emotionally. It is the care you give to someone while the person is growing and can involve feeding, protecting and encouraging the person. Because people need to be fed with encouragement, love, recognition, hope, and security then it is important to nurture people as someone who will influence with impact.
“People are influenced the most by those who make them feel the best about themselves”John C. Maxwell
If you become a nurturer in the lives of others, then you have an opportunity to make a major impact on them.
So, what are the characteristics of a nurturing person?
- Love: Theodore Roosevelt is noted to have said: “ Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” and he sure was right. Take time to express love and care to people. Let them know you appreciate them; Say it to them. Everyone wants to know they are loved.
- Encouragement: According to George M. Adams, “Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.” When people know that they would always get “oxygen for their souls” when they are with you, they will always follow you. Scarcity of encouragement can block a person from living a productive life but when a person feels encouraged he or she can face any obstacle. Be generous with giving people the gift of encouragement.
- Respect: If you treat people respectfully, they will do nearly anything for you; this means having due regard for their feelings, wishes, and rights. Whereas love focuses on giving to others, respect shows a willingness to receive from them.
- Sense of Security: A nurturing person lets people feel safe around them. When you let people know that they can trust you completely with their lives and you create an environment where they can flourish; then you will be able to positively influence them and have an impact on their lives.
As a nurturer of people make it your goal to make people feel loved, respected and secure. Lavishly give the gift of hope and encouragement to people.
Faith in People
One essential quality of an influencer is faith in people, unfortunately, it is in short supply today. For the most, people don’t have faith in themselves; many feel isolated because they do not have anyone who believes in them. When you give people your faith in them, they become confident, motivated and independent.
Nancy Dornan says, “When you believe in people, they do the impossible.” It’s like you energize them to take action when they know you believe in them. To be an influencer you must believe in people; interestingly people know it if you believe in them or not. Make it a point of duty to point out people’s strengths, remind them of their past successes to boost their courage to take on more difficult tasks and even when they experience defeat help them through the process of getting back on their feet and trying again.
Listens to People
Another key to gaining influence with people is the ability to listen. Being a listener does so much for the talker as well as for you the listener. Listening to people shows you respect them, it makes you more knowledgeable, helps you build solid relationships.
“You can make more friends in two weeks by becoming a good listener than you can in two years trying to get people interested in you”Dale Carnegie
When you practice effective listening with people you build their trust in you, you inspire them and you are able to help them resolve their challenges. Sadly not many people are good listeners but thankfully the skill can be learned.
According to Forbes, the following tips can show you how to become an effective listener:
- Look at the speaker
- Be attentive but relaxed
- Keep an open mind
- Listen and try to picture what the speaker is saying
- Don’t interrupt
- Wait for the speaker to pause before asking questions
- Ask questions only to understand better
- Try to feel what the speaker is feeling
- Give the speaker regular feedback
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues
Jim Dornan, founder of Network 21 said “If you can’t understand people and work with them, you can’t accomplish anything. And you certainly can’t become a person of influence.” The ability to understand people is very key to becoming a person of influence because if you’re able to understand how people think, you know what inspires them, and you know what their likely action or reactions would be- then you can influence them.
If you realize that you have difficulty in understanding people, the basic cause may be that you do not value people as highly as you could. To begin to work on yourself; cultivate a positive attitude about people, be empathetic and try to see things from other people’s perspective
A person of influence keeps people growing toward their full potential, that’s what it means to enlarge people. It is basically mentoring people to turn their potentials into reality. When you enlarge people, you help them improve their quality of life, and they are better equipped for success in life.
“There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being- to help someone succeed”Alan Loy McGinnis
Enlarging people takes time and effort so you need to be deliberate and selective about it. Look to work with people who are most likely to be open to growth; identify their potential, help them cast a vision for their lives, help them stretch beyond themselves, address their character flaws in love, give them resources like books, articles, courses that can help them grow, and teach them to enlarge others too.
Navigates For Other People
As you help people enlarge themselves and realize their full potentials, it is certain that they will face obstacles along the way. They will make mistakes, they will be discouraged and ready to quit. They will need a person to help them through those difficult times, someone who will lead and guide them; that’s what a navigator does.
As a navigator, you help people through the process of solving their problems in a way that they don’t slip into such a situation again. You encourage them not to despise simple solutions, help them get confident in their abilities. Let them know that problems are common to all men as such, they should not allow their challenges to overwhelm them but rather turn every setback into victories. Teach them never to settle for a No. Over time, their problem-solving muscle becomes so strong they are able to face any challenge.
Connects With People
To be a person of influence, you must know how to connect with people. You need to know how to make people feel at home when they are with you.
“Life is an exciting business and most exciting when lived for others”Helen Keller
So how do you connect with people? You let people know you value them, initiate friendship and find common ground with people, respect personality differences. It’s only after you connect with them that you can impact their lives.
Empowering people involves being able to work through others or achieving results through people. When you empower people, you give your influence and authority to them without losing it.
Inc.com offers six ways to empower people to be their best:
- Find out their vision
- Help them discover and create fulfillment for themselves
- Be the person you want your them to be
- Don’t micromanage people-give them space
- Allow people to come up with solutions to problems. Give room to their creativity.
- Be generous; give, give, give.
As you empower people, your life also changes for good. You have more time for things that are important to you, you become more effective, and incredibly increase your impact on people.
Reproduces Other Influencers
To be an influencer who makes a positive impact on people’s lives, you must strive to be a multiplier. This happens when you take note of potential influencers, develop them, empower them, teach them how to be persons of influence and then release them to go and reproduce themselves. As an influencer, your impact does not grow until you are committed to raising other influencers.
“The function of a leader is to produce more leaders, not more followers”Ralph Nader
You know, Ranker.com was right to list Jesus as the most influential person of all time because He exhibits all of these qualities John C. Maxwell highlighted. Read this post to see how His life mirrored these qualities of an influencer.
Obviously, you really want to be an influencer, you want to impact the lives of thousands of people, and that is why you’re still reading this post.
You start to become an influencer with great impact when you develop your own influence potential. As you continue to nurture these qualities in your relationships with people, you will begin to see a steady increase in the “size” of your sphere of influence and impact.
I created a Free Reference Guide (based on John C. Maxwell’s bestselling book, Becoming a Person of Influence,) to help you on your journey to becoming a world-changing influencer!
Print it out, go through it again and again, and act NOW on what you learned.
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Which of the qualities do you possess? Which of them are you going to start working on now? Share in the comments below