Many leaders think delivering a perfect presentation in a high-stakes scenario is enough to earn influence, but it’s not.
"Many leaders think delivering a perfect presentation in a high-stakes scenario is enough to earn influence, but it’s not."
“People don’t believe what you say, they believe what you show them.”
I gave this advice to Tracey, a frustrated client whose team only half-heartedly listened when she spoke. She couldn’t figure out why she lacked the influence to keep their attention during meetings and conversations.
I asked her to confess whether she was ever distracted when they spoke.
The answer wasn’t surprising.
Tracey confessed to being frequently distracted by text messages, emails during meetings. She realized her team exhibited the same behavior she showed them.
Like Tracey, we want influence, but rarely do we demonstrate the consistent actions to earn it.
Influential professionals ensure their message and delivery are consistent Monday to Monday. They know they must show up the same way every day and in every interaction. Here are three ways to grow your influence by doing the same:
1. Identify Inconsistencies
This week, ask someone you trust to honestly share the inconsistent behaviors you demonstrate in and out of the office. Then, write it down.
Maybe devices distract you, or you are sometimes late to meetings. Maybe, you are slow to respond to emails or inconsistent when you do.
Become aware of inconsistent tendencies to identify your inconsistencies.
2. Avoid the Perfection Trap
Many leaders think delivering a perfect presentation in a high-stakes scenario is enough to earn influence, but it’s not. Consistent behaviors in day-to-day conversations matter most.
Set aside 30 minutes before your day begins to prepare for your daily meetings, even those not high stakes. Write down discussion points and the actions you want others to take.
Spending time preparing for meetings will ensure consistent delivery, no matter the stakes.
3. Prioritize Actions, Not Words.
We all know someone who commits to a deadline and rarely follows through. Trust is earned by consistent follow through.
Beginning tomorrow, for every commitment you make, follow up with an email reiterating your promise.
If you promise to deliver a project by a specific date, do it. If you claim punctuality is important, don’t be late. If you value responsiveness, then respond to emails in a timely fashion. Consistent actions, not words shape the perception others have of you.
Earning influence requires consistency in every situation, with every person, Monday to Monday. If you lack the influence you need, follow these three simple tips to become consistent today.
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