A major driver of being influential is practice.
If you have ever played a sport or musical instrument, or engaged in any similar pursuit that takes muscle memory, you know that improvement never occurs without practice. For example, let’s say you have been playing golf for more than 10 years and you’re tired of your family and friends telling you what you need to do to improve your game. You decide to hire a coach.
The first step that coach may ask you to take is to show your swing. They want to observe your style. After you swing the golf club several times, the coach begins to pick apart your form. This is where some of my clients will give up.
Your subconscious tells you that if it doesn’t feel right or comfortable, it must be wrong. But if you take the advice of your golf coach and practice, suddenly your swing improves. Enhancing your influence is the same concept.
Everyone hopes to maintain a reputation that communicates trustworthiness, confidence and, most important, influence. Most want a quick fix, but no one can be more influential after one coaching or training session.
Being influential through every word you speak and every movement you make, all the time, takes deliberate practice and a lot of hard work. That’s it. You can’t read how-tos in a book or rely on your title and comfort level to be influential.
The hard truth is that being influential is a lifelong journey of practicing through day-to-day interactions. The good news is that we communicate constantly. Not having time to practice is not an excuse.
An article in Harvard Business Review explained this concept of deliberate practice: “It entails considerable,...
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