We are all influencers
We are all influencers
One of the things that you cannot possibly avoid or stop is the fact that you always have an influence on others. No matter what you do or how hard you try not to. Whatever you do, even if you choose not to put yourself forward, will still influence any person that can see, hear, smell or touch you. Our senses are the gates to our soul and there is just no way to just simply switch them off.
Influence comes with the very fact of being alive (only the dead are no longer influencing someone - at least not voluntarily), but there is actually a way to shape the way others perceive you.
It all starts with being aware of what elements of yourself you cannot possibly (or with great difficulty) work on, and which ones are in fact within your power.
Let us start with the ones that you cannot control:
There is just no way to determine or change most of the traits of our physical bodies. No matter how hard we try, we are incorporated beings. Philosophers used to say that the body is the prison of the soul and whilst there is no way to tell today where new technologies may lead us, it is a fact that for most people, there is not much they can do parts of themselves.
Whether we like it or not, our physical dimension plays a very important role in life and this is more than evidenced by the fact that many of us spend fortunes on all kinds of fitness regimes, diets and, for the most fortunate ones: plastic surgery!
I want to argue that whilst these initiatives certainly have their value and use (even if often they function like a placebo to make us feel good about ourselves), the real power is not in any of those outward attributes. It is in fact in something called attitude.
Except in extreme circumstances, such as torture, we can all work on how we face the world and our environment and on how we choose to deal with the people around us. I am not saying that this is easy. We are all part automatons (we cannot access some aspects of our behaviour as they have become so deeply engrained in our unconscious minds that they have become spontaneous reflexes of our bodies). However, with daily practice, we can progressively succeed in snatching away large and small victories from our most formidable challenger: ourselves.
Many philosophers will eye this last statement with suspicion, as it seems to imply that we are intrinsically free. They will argue that man is essentially determined by a whole range of parameters outside of his control. To this I reply that determinism is as hard to prove as in-determinism, and that it does not really matter. I certainly feel free whilst I am writing this text on my Mac!
So, let us rather concentrate on what we all feel we can control by mastering our attitude.
The first thing we can work on is the way we bear ourselves. Does our behaviour reflect the image of ourselves that we want to project? The proof is in the pudding and since we are absolute masters in the art of deceiving ourselves, the only way to check our egos at the door is to ask others - and see if the perspective they have of us conforms to the image we think we project. If this is not the case, we can then take the necessary measures to correct.
Outward paraphernalia are the easiest thing we can work on. The clothes we wear, the perfume we use in the morning, our shoes, hygiene etc… Here again, we can do more than use a real mirror. We can in fact also mirror ourselves in the eyes of others by asking them for feedback. Looks do matter, certainly in our modern societies where many do not differentiate between how you appear and who you are.
Next, there are simple things like the way we greet someone: do we look people in the eye or do we look away from them? Do we smile easily, so that people feel energised after meeting us, or do we make others feel as if they have just climbed Mount Doom itself?
And what about context: very few people are masters of their environment. The trick is to know who you are, how you want to appear to others and then to make the optimal use of the space around you. Where do you stand in a meeting? How close do you allow people to come when they are talking to you?
Are you starting to feel that there are, in fact, some things that you can do in order to control your influence? Well, let me tell you that this is only the tip of the Iceberg.
Want to know more? Let us show you the tricks to control your influence or as we like to say: how to control your Presence.
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