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An Influential Superpower

Can you say no to this little tiger? It’s not humanly possible because that little tiger is ADORABLE. The secret to influence is to bring a baby tiger with you everywhere you go, just like Tiger King Joe Exotic does. Just kidding, I do not condone using tigers to be influential whatsoever. In this article, we provide you with a secret to influence anyone. What is the secret? To relate instead of transact. Even though this is common sense, you would be surprised how uncommon this is. Let's dig into what transacting feels like, why people do this, and then how to relate.

What does transacting feel like? Have you ever felt like your boss treated you like a transaction? What does it feel like when someone treats you like a transaction? They only need something from you. They have no time for you. They are slow or don’t respond when you reach out to them. You don’t feel like we have a voice. Your opinion doesn’t matter. You feel like a machine or a cog in a wheel.

Why do people transact? I do not believe anyone intends to treat others like a transaction, but it happens. Why? People transact instead of relate because they feel busy; they are in a rush; they are overwhelmed, and as a result, they go into machine mode. Ultimately, forgetting there is another living person on the other side of that request. Transacting is a massive problem if you are leading or trying to influence another person. Are you inspired or influenced when someone treats you like a transaction? No. Will you go the extra mile? No. Are you motivated? No. When people are rushing to save time, they default into transacting, and they are not going to inspire someone to deliver quality work, go above and beyond or care.

How to we influence? Treat others like you would if you had a strong relationship with them. How do we treat people when we value our relationship with them? We give them time. We respond swiftly. We actively listen. We respect their opinion. We ask them for advice.

Due to the demands of your job, it may not feel realistic to have niceties and small talk all the time, but you can skip the small talk and still make the other person feel like a person. How? Consider making minor adjustments such as using their name, making more eye contact, occasionally asking for their opinion or advice, actively listening, responding quicker, and smiling more. Excessive small talk is not the only way to relate. Get creative and find a way to relate that suits your personality. A relationship is defined by how you interact, whether you are discussing work or non-work related items. Remember, a few small adjustments can change the feeling from transaction to relationship. Relating instead of transacting will result in your ability to influence your team members, co-workers, peers, and more.

Take a moment to write down 2-3 things you can do to relate instead of transact. Relating instead of transacting will make you much more influential no matter where you are on the totem pole.

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