Four Ways to Build Influential Connection
Intimidation requires position or perceived power but influence is a function of connection.
Distance and threat are the tools of bullies. Intimidators reach down from power towers and squeeze peons with fear.
Intimidators lose power when they connect. Leaders gain influence when they connect.
Influence answers fear and draws near.
Connection requires transparency. Humble leaders become one-of not one-above by sharing their journey. Common failures, successes, struggles, and growth build and enhance connection.
The downside of transparency is minimizing another’s journey. “I know what you mean. I used to feel that way.”
The upside of transparency is confirmation and affirmation. “We’re in this together.”
But, transparency isn’t enough.
Transparency without candor is feeling warm with your head in the sand.
Transparency is about you.
Candor is about them.
Permission to address tough issues stands on transparency.
Transparency is tender.
Candor is tough.
Together, candor and transparency are like sweet and sour, balanced and delicious.
But you need more.
Candor without kindness is cruel. Kindness makes candor safe.
Kindness makes room for others by choosing “we” over “me.”
Candor with kindness is strength and bravery. Candor without kindness is weak and cowardly.
Kindness generates loyalty.
My Dentist is quiet, aware, and patient. I feel safe in the chair, even though I may not enjoy it. I’m sticking with him.
The final ingredient.
Courage to believe better is possible gives meaning to transparency, candor, and kindness. Give up and go home if things can’t get better.
Influential leaders always migrate from dark to light. Pessimism can’t lead.
Optimism sees a path.
Pessimism justifies itself by pointing out problems, obstacles, and barriers. Optimism clears the path and steps forward even if destinations are over the hill.
Bonus: Transparency, candor, kindness, and optimism guide tough conversations.
What are the qualities of leaders who increase influence through connection?
I would add that connection also depends on aspects of integrity and honouring our word. These bring in the both ways commitment needed to make connections flourish.
Good ones. I particularly like the idea that we don’t connect with those we don’t trust. Nice.
I appreciate your points of being a person of integrity and commitment. These are pillars of good leaders without which any kind of leadership is futile.
Honoring the word itself create influence that goes long way in creating mutual trust.
I like the line “Intimidators lose power when they connect and Leaders gain influence when they connect” very powerful and prevalent. I would like to add that when intimidators connect, people come to know them deeper. People know their depths, contents and intentions. And this is the major reason, whey intimidators believe in creating space with the people. Creating space by intimidating is their strategy to gain influence, position and power. Leaders on the other hands, are real influencers without being perceived intimidators. People connect leaders because there is nothing behind and hidden, everything is open and visible. People also do not perceive leaders as power gainers. In fact, leaders gain influence because of people belief in leadership.
Authenticity is the most important quality that connects leaders with people. Leadership integrity is another significant component that makes leaders reliable, trustworthy and character bases leaders.
Your analysis and insights extend and explain the challenges and opportunities of influence.
Along with Shakti’s addition of integrity, your inclusion of authenticity really adds to our ability to expand our influence.
Truly excellent post, Dan! Thanks.
Thanks Paul! Much appreciated.
Thank you for this post! Two quotes were printed off and made it to my office wall… words of wisdom to guide my daily interactions with others.
Thanks Emily. It’s a pleasure to serve.
Answered you yesterday Shane.
Well I believe human beings suffer from a Spiritual malady. We don’t know we are, who Gods other kids are and who God is. Keeps us from really connecting and communicating. Try connecting with another person from a place of absolutely not knowing and see what happens. Buddhists say it is pretty cool strategy!!!!!
So we do the best we can to pretend.
“I coulda been a contender”!
William James, wrote in Varities of a Religious Experience spiritual experiences in spite of religion, culture, language all have common traits.
Have a vital spiritual experience and then see how you relate to Gods other kids!!!
There are two common traits with spiritual experiences according to William James. One, ego deflation at depth, in AA we call it hitting bottom. Second, a calling out from the depths of ones soul for Gods help. Then the magic happens!!!!!
Know who Jesus had the least use for? Organized religion. Me too!!! Why, they arrogantly said they had everything figured out. Just ask Pat Robertson, he is sure he knows all!! Each man made religion says they got “it” and every other way if you will is wrong. That attitude really pissed Jesus off back in the day!!!!! Do not understand why spiritual supremacy today does not upset more folks today?? One view isn’t Better than any other, just different. Respect
I wonder if people will react to me having the same opinion as Jesus the same way they reacted to him?
Ok ok my point. In order to get real, transparent, honest, authentic, connect whatever you want to call it you got to get real with yourself. You cannot transmit to others what you do not have yourself. You cannot give someone else an apple if all you got is oranges.
So people in my experience can help others by first getting their own house in order. Share ones own experience strength and hope, only.
I say treat all Gods kids just like equals and stop separating each other with exclusive, excluding thought systems. Just a suggestion!!!!
Or don’t. If what you do and what you believe works for you keep doing that.
Just my experience that works for me. Like answering direct questions with direct answers, yes that is authentic, not answering sideways like politicians do.
Anyways if your experiences and understanding is different than mine, no biggie. I am not of the opinion you are wrong if you have come to different conclusions than me, just different.
Different ain’t wrong, it is different, look it up in the dictionary. Or don’t!!! Lol
Thanks Dan have a god one!!
Shifterp back to left field in the present!
If I understand your comment, authenticity begins with self-knowledge. Makes perfect sense to me. If we don’t know who we are then we can’t be authentic.
Absolutely!!!!! Mentioned to Shane yesterday you were a very smart guy!!!
Now I know just cause you got what I said doesn’t mean you are really smart…..just to me, right?
But I am confident this is an opinion shared by many others.
Have a great day.
Yes, how I treat and communicate to me seems to be in direct correlation to how I treat and communicate with others.
When I am really right with me and HP, Man do Gods other kids look fantastic!! Straighten out vertically the horizontal falls right into place most excellently!!!
When I am not right with me and HP, you, Gods other kids don’t seem to be getting most anything right!!!! All in the AA Big Book, that design for successful living!!!
Optimist is from the Latin word Optimus meaning BEST.
Pessimist is from the Latin word Pessimus meaning WORST
You are free to choose either one
Author: http://www.Joe Egan.com
Thanks Joe. I’m choosing best. Cheers.
“Optimism clears a path…”
Thanks Ken. Glad you stopped in today. Cheers
“Optimism sees a path.
Pessimism justifies itself by pointing out problems, obstacles, and barriers. Optimism clears the path and steps forward even is destinations are over the hill.”
It’s so easy to point out the issues… it’s a whole other mindset to believe that things can change for the better and to work toward that end. Thanks for the upbeat message today.
And I fixed that dang typo.. “is” became better… “if.”
I spent way too long thinking leadership was the ability to point out a problem. Blahhhh
I’ve enjoyed the last posts on intimidators. I worked for one in recent years; it was the most difficult working experience in my career. As you noted, intimidators lose power when they connect. She constantly isolated her team from other “outside” influences. She labeled other strong leaders in the organization with various non-flattering titles, and down played their accomplishments.
We ultimately survive these experiences, and hopefully learn from them. I know I did; she taught me a lot!
You make me think of a leader who tried to intimidate a team I was on. They did the same thing…everyone else was the enemy. It was a means of maintaining control.
Intimidators are afraid.
I would like to include encouragement. Leaders need to continue to encourage their people especially during difficult times. We all need a positive word, a kind word, a motivational word. Classic Beatles. ”I get by with a little help from my friends.”
I’ve been thinking of doing a post based on a popular song…perhaps it’s the Beatles.
Thanks for adding encouragement!
As I read through this post, Dan, I thought of diodes– those little connectors that allow power to flow only one way and block power from flowing the other way. How many diode leaders do we encounter! DIODE leaders DIE OFF. When we allow influence– and thereby power– to flow both ways, we create REAL connections and build great value.
Justin – Great thought. One way connections do die off. Have a great day.
Love your illustration. Thanks man
Diode — LIKE! Thanks,
Continuing the analogy, the best leaders act like the signal input side of a transistor amplifier. The outputs of the organization are much greater than the efforts of the leader, yet totally aligned with them. Just like a good amplifier, the leader should accept feedback from the outputs to correct the input signal.
Perhaps beating the analogy to death…
great leaders synthesize—they know which waves to make, which flow to amplify, which to filter, when and how much to attack, sustain, release, reverberate, delay, echo, how to create harmony and healthy dissonance. They know that their ability to create music is temporal and time limited, so they share what/how/why/who/when all of the elements with others.
This was a great article. I’m a leader who chooses to lead by heart, and not by head. But, I do struggle in that process, as I often feel disrespected by other colleagues for speaking my truth through story-telling. It’s my way of giving my audience a visual of what’s possible when we change our approach to the change we’re trying to make. Being authentic, non-judgemental, meeting people where they are, expecting the best, and helping people to make the connections is the work…it’s my work.
Leading by example, is the Work. 90% of the work of being a great leader is on our personal development.
Renee, GREAT, GREAT and TRIPLE GREAT!!!!!!!
If you ever get a chance google Jeff roberti youtube and there is a video on there by Gordon Hester. Master The Art of Storytelling!!!!
Hope u do and get half out if it I have!!! It is great!!!
Explains how the brain takes in info and why stories work!!!! Awesome stuff!!
Stories sell, facts tell!!!!!
You just keep doing what you know is right and every now and then a person will come along and assure you are are spot on!!!!!
Others just ignore!!!
Good Onya Mate!!! Matess. Whatever!!
Carry on as we trudge the road the happy destiny!!!!
Write me anytime!!!!
Scott back to my present, me in the now!!
I would also add “generosity of spirit” – – being able to think about the relationship from the others’ views, and focusing on their goals/needs. This always has a positive impact on connections.
Powerful add… thank you
UPR—unconditional positive regard—in every moment, with every interaction, with others AND with yourself