Human Interest

Tapestry of Influence ~ First Impressions

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It is simply astounding! Within seconds, first impressions are formed. It has been hypothesized they are formed within a quarter of a second.  Our minds concurrently process many details to form a first impression taking only seconds. Also, it is interesting that research shows that first impressions are immensely accurate.  The first few seconds of meeting a person for the first time is crucial. It is a discernment that is nearly unforgettable. The fact of the matter is we will never get a second chance to make a great first impression. This means first impressions are powerful and greatly impact how we influence others. It has been said, that they are so significant that they can be regarded more important than the truth.  You may ask the question, what do first impressions have to do with influence?

The word Influence” has to do with a person’s wisdom or strength of character that makes a lasting impact on one’s behavior or choices of another individual.  As an influencer, you have the ability to help people unleash their potential by giving their best to embrace a course of action that leads to success.

 

It has been stated that the greatest gift of service that can be given to mankind is investing in the lives of others.” This cannot be sufficiently achieved without the ability to influence others by making good first impressions.

 

The prevailing need for all of us is the need to belong. This can be translated to the fact that we all have a need for attention, love, and respect.  We want to feel accepted and appreciated. When our needs are met, we feel a sense of belonging, control, and power.  An aspect of being influential is relational.  Our Creator is relational, and as His creation, we are made in His image, created to be social and relational beings.  People will respect you, be drawn to you, and listen to what you must say.

 

Let’s look at some areas in which first impressions are the motivating factor that paves the way for influence to play a vital role in impacting the lives of others. It is also the essential ingredient for being successful in whatever capacity you may be serving.  Consider the following: Coaching, Mentoring, Modeling, Counseling, and Motivating:

 

 

Coaching Coaching is influencing the minds and hearts of those being coached to believe in the process to reach the desired goal. It is a conduit by which knowledge is transferred, that optimizes unrealized potential. This is done through the development of talent and refinement of skills from unproductive or limited performance, to enhanced or outstanding performance. It is a two-way communication in the process of assisting, augmenting and refining performance through applying definite expertise and understanding.

 

Mentoring Mentoring is helping others reach their potential. The focus is on the person you want to influence. Mentorship is more than an advisor and involves a certain area of expertise.  It is the personal development of a relationship over time in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. Mentoring is an essential leadership skill of managing and motivating people, to learn, grow and become more effective in their jobs and careers.

 

Modeling Modeling is actually role-modeling. It consists of demonstrating to the person why and how to perform the activities necessary for the completion of some task, objective, or behavior. This can be accomplished by providing examples of the desired performance. It is a type of learning which occurs by first observing the expert’s behavior. After that, the learner tries to reproduce the actions performed by the expert. Imitation is an important component of the learning process.

 

Counseling Counseling is guiding and assisting in the resolution of personal, social, or psychological problems and/or difficulties, by a professional. This is achieved through a relationship with the intent of promoting the growth, development, maturity, and improved the functioning of the counselee.

 

Motivating Motivating is a level of influence requiring a more up-close approach, influencing by encouraging and communicating.

 

 

Qualities of an Influencer

influence ball

Influence gives you the capacity or power to be a compelling force on, or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, and responses of others.  Becoming a person of influence has a positive impact in the lives of others. The power to positively change your life and the lives of others depends on the degree of your influence. Becoming a person of influence is not a speedy process. It takes time, preparation, effort, and practice of certain behaviors, to effect change. Accomplishing success is impossible without influence.

 

The process of creating an atmosphere for influence can been established by using the following key phrases in the acrostic below:

 

I- ntegrity – cultivates trusting relationships.

N – urture – feeling appreciated and valued.

F – aith – represents a confident belief for success.

L – isten – hears what is voiced and what is not voiced to build relationships.

U – nderstand – demonstrating personal empathy.

E – nlarge – growing and moving towards increasing potential into success.

N – avigate – taps into passions, set goals and plots the course for success.

C – onnect – express common life experiences, moving toward connecting.

E – mpower -to become leaders to influence and continue to grow through others and become who they were created to be.

 

The Heartbeat of Influence

We are all people of influence, whether it is a negative influence or a positive influence.  No matter who you are, or what you do in a span of a day, someone is watching you. Life experiences will bring impressionable moments of influence, whether good, bad, or unintentional.  Everybody needs somebody. Everybody can be somebody when somebody understands and believes in them, and positive, impactful moments can bring about radical change. The power to positively change your life and the lives of others depends on the degree of your influence.

The heartbeat of an influencer views all of what is presented in any situation of life. They take advantage of impactful moments, encounters, and situations to make a difference in the lives of others – meeting them at the intersection of their lives.  They are willing to be more open to risk adventures; maximizing their potential to intentionally change their perspective of life, and the lives of others. Their presence and abilities have the power to change the atmosphere in any given situation and purposefully meet the challenge of being a tapestry of influence.

 

If you wish to influence impactful moments, you can start by planting seeds of inspiration; if you wish to influence days, plant flowers of endurance; if you wish to influence years, plant trees of a confident expectation; if you wish to influence eternity, plant principles of assurance in the lives of others. Just do it!  You can be that agent of change making positive, impactful moments that bring about a radical change in the lives of those who come across your path.

Barbra is an international certified holistic life coach. As a life coach, she shares prescriptions of the physical, emotional, and spiritual blockage that hinders the source of life which flows from the heartbeat of God. Barbra is an Award winning book author. Winner of Fresh Lifestyle Magazine 2017 BOOK AWARD and a PWN International Literacy Award, for her wonderful book, "Every Beat of My Heart".

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