What Your Greatest Personal Influencer Can Teach You

greatest personal influencer
Donna J. Spina PCC, CPC, ELI-MP

Spring is a time to be out with the old and in with the new. Thus I found myself going through some old belongings and came across some childhood pictures with my paternal grandmother. Despite the 22 years that had passed since her death,the photos reminded me of how Grandmom Spina’s impact is still present in my thoughts, actions, and heart.

Who has been the greatest personal influencer in your life so far? How did they accomplish this feat?

Foundational Lessons for Influence in Life and Business

1. Prioritize the Golden Rules. Always remember to mind your manners and exhibit diplomacy when delivering news that might be hard for another to hear. Words, even a harsh tone, can cut like a knife and the wound may never truly heal.

2. Give Personalized Attention. Little things matter – like how you make your clients/ customers feel visible and special. How do they prefer to have you follow up and at what intervals? Treat others with the same respect and kindness you would desire regardless of how they are responding to you in the moment. It will create more opportunities.

3. Protect Your Self-Esteem. How you view yourself affects how others perceive you. We are all human. Accept that you will make mistakes (usually at the most inconvenient times) and so will your staff and clients. Learn to not take it too personally! Be patient with yourself when things go awry. What those in your circle think and feel matters too.

4.  Be Prepared. Seek first to understand why something or someone failed or fell short of your expectations. Planning out a strategy is a safer (although not foolproof) way of managing an outcome. How good does it feel to anticipate a situation and be prepared to easily and successfully deal with it? Be proactive. Teach your staff about the “just in case” plans so they too feel empowered to address appropriately.

5. Build Courage and Resilience. My grandmother came to the United States via Ellis Island as a young child with little formal education. How brave to endure the 2+ weeks at sea, arrive in a new land, and speak a different language with only the few possessions one could carry! She endured raising a family during the Great Depression and becoming a widow in her 60s. These are strong examples I reflect on when I want to displace fear of the unknown (like fear of starting new projects, embarking in new directions, networking, sticking to a budget, etc).

6. Remain Humble with Kind Acts of Service. There will always be those who have more than you as well as those who have less. Be generous whenever possible with your time, knowledge, connections, or resources. It will come back to you tenfold in quality of reputation and in becoming truly memorable. Without your good name, what do you really have?

7.  Practice Unconditional Love. Love attached only to specific conditions creates instability and stagnation. Believe you are enough now while continually working on self-development to become even better! Acknowledge all the things you do well and all that you’ve accomplished.

Profound concept, isn’t it?

We live in a society in which our professional label determines our value and impacts how we are accepted. What would be different in your life if you already felt “enough?”

Apply these lessons and someday, you might just be someone else’s greatest personal influencer.