The Most Powerful Way to Extend Influence and Expand Potential
I owe most of the relationships I enjoy to the persistence of others. I tend to look at new people like cows look at new gates, skeptically.
Connection assumes generous intention.
Healthy relationship assumes you want the best for me, you, and us.
Good intention includes:
#1. Mutual advantage and disadvantage. You suffer-with and you enjoy-with.
#2. Willingness to fall on a grenade to advantage others. This doesn’t refer to wealthy higher-ups demanding lower-downs to suffer while they enjoy perks. But self-sacrifice – freely given – may be part of connection.
#3. Enjoyment of personal satisfaction and mutual advantage. Serving flows both ways when competent individuals share generous intention.
Connection extends influence and expands potential:
A few weeks ago, an online friend pointed out my poor use of language around emotion. We’ve had several interactions over the years. He seemed unexpectedly passionate. We scheduled a conversation.
Veiled generosity offends.
I receive emails from people claiming they want to ‘help’ me. Occasionally, I ask for specifics. How does this help me, exactly? The truth is they want me to help them. I’d be more inclined to help if they were less deceptive.
My friend’s email wasn’t offensive. I’m convinced he has generous intention.
- Connection opens channels of influence.
- Generous intention lowers resistance.
- Results flow through relationships.
I met with my online friend. We talked about feelings.
I had written something about people ‘making’ you feel strong. He wanted me to know that we are responsible for our feelings, not others.
Generous intention extends influence and expands potential.
How might you express generous intention to someone on your team today?
Generous intention extends influence and expands potential – This reminded me of my boss and how he operates generously and the kind of influence he has.
What to do when one’s generous intentions are not considered because of other persons insecurities?
Thanks Khawaja. It’s great to have a generously intentioned boss.
When people don’t respond positively to generosity, perhaps it’s time to find other avenues of generosity? Or, continue being generous knowing that responses might be disappointing. I don’t believe choosing to not be generous is an option.
Dan, I like your remark that “Generous intention extends Influence and expands potential.” Generous intention in a leader could include valuable introductions to key members of your network; creating opportunities to develop and shine; public praise and private correction; and taking responsibility for less-than-stellar outcomes as opposed to “throwing the team under the bus.” One great boss I had described his role as a “filter” rather than an “amplifier.” He created an environment for us to thrive in and minimized distractions by dealing with matters we should not have been concerned about. I’m so thankful for leaders like that!
Thanks Paul. I truly appreciate your practical insights. It’s helpful when someone explains practical application.
This post’s remarks about mutual benefit and “willingness to fall on a grenade” reminded me of the surprising number of leaders I worked with who didn’t realize that loyalty must extend both ways. Team members are unlikely to “fall on their sword” for a boss who would throw them under the bus in a heartbeat. That’s the recipe for building an organization where “CYA” becomes the paramount activity.
Generous intentions must be clearly communicated, and then verified through observed behavior and frequent analysis of feedback. Assumptions are always hazardous.
Thanks Jim. “Team members are unlikely to fall on their sword for a boss who would throw them under the bus.” Wow! Such a powerful statement.
A CYA organization won’t go as far as an organization where people take care of each other.
How might you express generous intention to someone on your team today? If you have their backs overtime they have your back. As Jim mentions “willingness to fall on a grenade” speaks volumes of loyalty beyond a shadow of a doubt. When individuals have their doubts about Leaders we tend to slide the slippery slope of core values and integrity. Soon they will turn their backs on you, close their ears, and leave you to rot in your pool of falsehoods..
Wow…powerful expressions keep on rolling in. “pool of falsehoods!” Dang that’s evocative.
Hi Dan and all,
I keep thinking about your friend. What power to be invulnerable to the effect of others’ words. People make me feel things all the time. That’s why, caring about people, to be extra careful to choose the right words at the right time to the right person. Imagine hearing this in response to a lovingly crafted letter: ” I chose to be pleased by your letter which I deem delightful” vs. ” your note made me smile “. We need a little backbone and can’t be flopping miserably all over the floor at every sideways word, but personally I leave a spare key to my heart under the mat where people can find it Cheers !
As the circle of connection and generous influence expands, it will eventually encounter someone who does not have generous intention, yet is still part of the equation, whether we like it or not. What happens then, I believe, makes all the difference, and is the most underappreciated form of leadership.
In a big view kind of way, your friend is correct, we only feel the way we want to feel and someone else’s actions or views should not have an affect on how we feel. This, however is not how we as humans think. Everyone has opinions and some are more easily affected by others opinions of the world and themselves. I suppose this follows your mention of veiled generosity offends in that people want to feel that someone cares for them on an emotional level and not just showing a face to get you to trust them and break that trust by making the connection all about that other person so they can feel better about their life.