Every interaction is an opportunity to influence somebody.
Please pause and re-read that statement. Slowwwwly. Now ask yourself a key question, “How do you want to influence this person?” Sentences can dramatically change by adding describing words in different places. Here are a few scenarios where the same sentence can take a different twist.
Every boring interaction is a missed opportunity to positively influence somebody.
This is one of my most favorite situations, or bad habits? I often want to be unnoticed when running errands or grocery shopping. I am usually not wearing makeup. My hair has not seen a comb. I am wearing sweats I slept in the night before. Obviously, I have not showered yet that day. Whoops! My social level is at an all time low. I want to concentrate on not missing any items on my shopping list and just go home. Besides looking like a hot mess, I am boring. If you run into me, I will either keep the conversation brief or dart the other way.
Consequently, this does not paint a pretty picture nor win over any first impressions. I am missing out on opportunities I can positively influence people. They do not know who I am, why I am important and why they should care.
Remember, we are all important and have something to offer.
Every social interaction is a thrilling opportunity to annoy somebody.
This statement comes to mind the most in some of our previous articles. Most noteworthy, Don’t Sell to Your Friends: They are not Your Clients, nor Your Source of Income is a classic scenario of using the wrong opportunities to promote your product. In this article, I was annoyed with friends who were thrilled to hang out with me just to try and sell me whatever they were promoting.
Also in recent months, I became annoyed with time wasters, some social gatherings and said goodby to TV and gained much more in return.
The Art of Workplace Interaction provides excellent examples of how to not annoy your coworkers. Along the same lines in the workplace, there are many tips to consider when preparing for your performance review. Don’t miss an opportunity to be human, humble and not annoying.
Every random interaction is a golden opportunity to surprisingly influence somebody.
Returning back to the shopping scene, I made an effort this weekend to put some jeans on with my cute boots, a business coat I wear to work, curled my hair and rocked a scarf like a trendy millennial. Still no makeup. Nor shower. It’s the weekend. Not happening ya’ll.
Anyway, as I walk into the store, I notice an employee singing her heart out while organizing the shopping carts. Startled, she immediately stopped and apologized for singing. I brightly smiled, enthusiastically clapped and encouraged her to keep it up as her singing was the best part of my day. If I would have been my old hot mess, freshly rolled out of bed self, I probably would not have drawn attention to myself by giving a standing ovation.
Undoubtedly, the random interaction set the tone for the rest of the day. I kept smiling and being positive. She really did brighten my day. I would like to think I brightened hers too. Maybe she’s going to someday be on The Voice. She will reflect back on a time when she was working. A random stranger was clapping, telling her to not stop singing and the reason she kept going. Clearly, I am a day dreamer. But, hopefully a positive influence.
In conclusion, every interaction is an opportunity to influence somebody. We can play around with this sentence all day long by inserting different adjectives here and there. However, the words we choose to insert at the appropriate time dramatically changes the meaning behind the sentence. Interactions are directly proportional to the level of influence we have on others. Decide what kind of influence you want to make with your opportunities and interactions.
Today, I played around with a few words to see the impact it would have on a sentence. If you have a few moments, please play a fill in the blank game with me! I’d like to see your creativity:
Every ____________ interaction is a ____________ opportunity to ____________ influence somebody.