How to Leverage Your Most Powerful Tool of Influence Today
Your most powerful tool of influence is a pair of caring ears.
Today’s leadership challenge is the daily practice of caring – yet engaged – silence.
Caring engaged silence:
A caring heart is permission to lead.
More than ever, leadership is about influence, not position. This is an opportunity for those without position and a threat to those with it.
4 positive powers of caring silence:
- Caring removes condemnation from silence.
- Caring elevates silence from detachment to interest.
- Caring enables quiet to establish safe spaces for engagement and interaction.
- Caring instills boldness by enlarging the worth of others.
Caring silence invites, energizes, and inspires.
4 negative powers of uncaring silence:
- Resistance to influence.
- Skepticism as to motives. Silence with an agenda offends.
- Barriers to connection.
- Bitterness from speculation regarding your intentions.
Uncaring silence is cruel.
Disengaged silence makes leaders seem:
2 ways to practice caring engaged silence:
Complete silence is abdication.
#1. Get out of yourself.
Release personal agendas, results, coercion, and quick evaluations. Use silence as an opportunity to understand, explore, and embrace another’s perspective and agenda.
- Quiet your spirit.
- Honor the value of others, especially when they see things differently from you.
- Explore, understand, and embrace the motivations of others.
Connection emerges as you understand and accept what others want for themselves and others.
#2. Give voice to your heart.
- Reflect on and declare what matters most to you. Why do results matter, for example.
- Be transparent with your motives.
- Declare your intentions. The more I work with leaders, the more power I see in authentic expression of positive intention.
- I want to understand … .
- I’m interested in … .
- It’s important to me that … .
How might leaders expand their influence with caring engaged silence?