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Influence is a Learned Leadership Skill

BY: Maggie Gough • COO | WELCOA

As wellness continues to level up, and you continue to level up, you will need to learn how to influence. Influence is a challenging dynamic to describe, and yet, there are people who are highly skilled at it. In a recent blog, we talked about this pivotal moment in time and called for a movement of change. As a part of that movement, we invite you to step into your full leadership.

Who is a Leader?

According to Brene Brown, “a leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential. Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It’s about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage.” When you take responsibility for finding and developing the potential in people or processes you begin to set boundaries against what limits that potential. Conversely, if you plan for a meeting by rehearsing all of your communication to ensure everyone feels okay with what you’ve said, you’re solving for everyone’s fragility rather than amplifying the potential.
“Influence is the ability to invite others into the leadership of the potential.”

What is Influence?

What’s remarkable about Brene’s definition of leadership is that it doesn’t state that a leader is someone who proves there is potential. Rather a leader is someone who takes responsibility and develops potential. Influence is the ability to invite others into the leadership of the potential. It is not a sales pitch for the existence of said potential, it’s about inviting people into the action.

How to Influence

How do we influence people to accept the invitation? According to Self Determination Theory, due to our basic need for human connection, we will adopt the intrinsic motivations of those we trust. Trustworthiness is built on authentic connection.

According to marketing research, people are influenced by those who are seen as knowledgeable, authentic, and passionate. You have the knowledge, you know exactly how to develop the potential, and you have the passion. The final piece is authenticity. Let others know how deeply your passion, cause, and actions are connected to your values and why you’re in. When you show up authentically, you create opportunities for the trust-building connection that makes you influential.
“When you show up authentically, you create opportunities for the trust-building connection that makes you influential.”
An influencer isn’t made in a day and neither was your expertise or drive for what you do. Start by stepping into your full leadership, inviting others into the action, and letting them see your authenticity and passion.

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Maggie Gough
Serving a variety of populations in a multitude of industries, Maggie understands the complexity and depth of the corporate wellness industry and the needs of the professionals and employees they support. Her role at WELCOA is to ensure members receive stellar service and build sustaining connections as a community.