What influential people say almost always holds weight and all of their opinions are valued by the people around them.
But guess what? You too can expand your circle of influence if you make some important changes in the way you view the world and yourself.
1. Think for Yourself
It’s not a good sign if you’re easily swayed by public opinion or the latest trends. Believing everything you hear and forming opinions based on other people’s judgments will get you nowhere.
You need to start thinking for yourself. Do your research and study facts before coming to a conclusion. Be willing to change your mind if there’s evidence supporting it. Start tuning out what other people think and only gain influence from what you know.
2. Disruptive the Norm
So many problems result from our lack of empathy and unwillingness to change our ways. You need to be curious about the world and long-running traditions. You shouldn’t be afraid to question the status quo and challenge conventional ways of thinking.
Becoming graciously disruptive means you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Explore new ideas and try to think outside the box whenever you can. Spark conversations about causes that deserve more attention. When you truly care about the world, this should come naturally to you.
Inspire people around you to think differently and be more open-minded.
Make connections everywhere you go. Don’t hesitate to learn about other people’s background and culture. Look out for people in your social circle and add value to their lives. Be forthcoming with advice where necessary to make lasting connections.
5. Welcome Disagreement
When people disagree with your ideas, you need to humble yourself and really listen to what they’re saying. You shouldn’t respond defensively because you don’t know everything and you could’ve easily missed something. It should be more important for you to challenge your own ideas than to always be right.
The other person may have a point and if they do, you should be more than willing to change your opinion.
6. Think outside the box
Deliberately seek newer ideas and technologies instead of waiting for them to come to you. Stay updated with the latest innovations and become an early adopter. Spread the word about what’s coming in the future and always stay in the know.
When someone in your team or circle of influence makes a mistake, you need to take a step back and assess the situation instead of reacting immediately. Value your relationships and respond appropriately to any mishap. The last thing you want to do is cause a scene. If you overreact, people will start keeping their distance from you and trusting you less.
Learning how to be a person of influence may take a while, but with small steps every day, you can change the world and earn a place in everyone’s hearts.
Maria Sampalis, OD
is the founder of Corporate Optometry, a peer-to-peer web resource for ODs interested to learn more about opportunities in corporate optometry. Canadian ODs and optometry students can visit www.corporateoptometry.com to learn more.