“You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.”

“You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.”

—J.S. Knox, 19th Century British Author

Image from Unsplash by Elijah Macleod

How would you rate yourself as a salesperson, a leader, an effective parent, or simply as a person having a positive impact on others?

Fundamental to all those capabilities is the ability to influence others and engender in them an idea that already resonates within them.

Who are the people in your world that influence you to buy in to their ideas and vision, which already align with your own?

Alternatively, who are the people who antagonize or at least rub you the wrong way? How do you respond to their ideas and efforts to persuade you to think and act as they wish?

EXERCISE:

How can and will you adjust your approach with others in your personal and professional communities to have far greater influence in your world?

“Lovely days don’t come to you. You should walk to them.”

“Lovely days don’t come to you. You should walk to them.”

—Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet

Image from Unsplash by Bob Canning

The term snowbird was first applied to humans in the early 1900s, to describe northern laborers who flocked down south to work as the cold, harsh winter set in up north.

Today, northerners of all kinds – including vacationers and retirees – are migrating south as the first frost arrives, to experience more lovely warm days.

Rumi surely wasn’t referring only to the weather. Perhaps he wanted all of us to look around – and deeper within – to determine exactly what a lovely day means, and just how much influence we have to create our own weather, wherever we happen to be.

EXERCISE:

What are some additional ways you can use your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energies to walk or even run toward far more lovely days in the future?

“Sometimes it’s not strength but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells.”

“Sometimes it’s not strength but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells.”

—Richard Paul Evans, contemporary American author

Barry and Wendy with Weston

As a relatively new grandpa, I find it fascinating to watch my daughter, son-in-law, and wife interact with little Weston.

Although he is a very good-natured, happy little boy, he does get cranky, fussy, and a bit difficult to manage from time to time.

On most occasions, the trick that works is gently singing one or more of his favorite songs. Within seconds he calms down and begins to smile.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom in your personal or professional life would a bit more gentleness crack some hard shells? What specific steps can and will you take to open others up to your influence?

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

—Menander, 2nd Century BC Greek dramatist

Image created in Canva

Who have been the most influential people throughout your life, helping to shape your character?

Examine your most favorable and admirable traits to see when they were developed. What made you decide, intentionally or by default, to adopt your temperament, personality, and general approach to life?

On the flip side, what are some of your bad habits and less desirable character traits? What people or other factors influenced these qualities and behaviors to become your less than optimal self?

EXERCISE:

Take a good long and objective look at the company you keep. Where is it time for an upgrade? Where might you perhaps delete some viruses or other character software running in the background?

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan

How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?

I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?

The next best thing to being clever

“The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.”

—Mary Pettibone Poole, 20th Century Author of aphorisms

In some ways, we are all in the entertainment business. Personally or professionally, it is our intention to bring attention to our important thoughts and ideas.

Over the years of The Quotable Coach series, I’ve encouraged our readers to focus on being interested rather than interesting.

Let’s face it: Sometimes we just want others to be interested in what we have to say. Unfortunately, our thinking is not always as attention-worthy as we think it is.

If we are reasonably well read and informed, we can utilize the originality and clever thinking of others to break through and make the point we deem relevant and important.

EXERCISE:

Where can you share the wisdom and cleverness of others to have the influence and impact you desire?

Please give credit (where credit is due) to the various sources of such cleverness, and they may reciprocate by using a quote from you at some point!

No One Agrees With Others Opinions

“No one agrees with other people’s opinion. They merely agree with their own opinions expressed by somebody else.”

—Sydney Tremayne, Canadian Stock Investment Strategist

Image of man holding placard saying "Ask the right questions"

Image from FlightJobs

How would you like to be a more masterful leader and have far greater influence in your professional and personal relationships?

For this to occur, it requires less of you and more from others.

Have you noticed that virtually everyone is far more interested in what they are thinking than in what you may be saying? Being interested rather than interesting can be just the strategy to discover their opinions and leanings on any topic. Their perspective and beliefs can point you to the areas where they can be more easily led and influenced.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you tap into the opinions and beliefs held by others, to significantly increase your current levels of leadership and influence?

a kind of immortality

“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”

—John Quincey Adams, 6th President of the United States

Image of a physician holding a newborn

Image from Unsplash by Alex Hockett

We often hear comments about newborns having their mother’s eyes, or their father’s nose or smile.

Beyond our genetic code living on in our offspring, today’s quote points to the tremendous influence those outside our immediate family can have on us.

Take a few minutes to look at your past and current relationships to see how they have shaped the person you are today. Consider among these friends, teachers, mentors, coaches, neighbors, and religious leaders.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom do or can you intentionally have a more positive influence within your various communities? Who are some of the individuals you may wish to thank again, or for the first time, for their contribution to your life?