By East Apthorp
East Apthorp is the Marketing Director for AchieveGlobal. During her 15 years with the company, East has contributed to numerous successful initiatives related to the company’s marketing efforts, including strategic planning, research development, product launches, and market positioning.
In one of our most recent polls, we asked our readers: How easily do you influence others with your communication?
Before we share the results, let me explain why we asked that question. In the corporate world, as in our personal lives, we tend to think that those in power have the influence. And the basis of that power typically rests on position and authority. CEOs, presidents, mayors, kings, queens and the Pope are perceived to have power because of their position. Rarely do everyday individuals consciously consider they have personal power; that the way we communicate has the potential to influence others.
Results of the poll prove that.
Only a third of the respondents said they easily believe they influence others with their communication. The majority (67%) believes they are only somewhat influential or not at all when communicating with others.
Imagine all that untapped power. And to think you don’t have to be high up in any social or political position to wield that power.
A key element to becoming influential is harnessing your communication skills. And we’re not just talking about what you say and how you say it. Remember that communication is a two-way process. Listening is a critical part of the communication process. Listening – and, specifically, active listening – means being focused on what is being said rather than just passively “hearing” the message of the other person; analyzing what he or she wants; and then providing value by adding information in a compelling way that’s aligned with their needs.