I was working with Matt Tudor, Director of Commercial Development and Innovation at ATG Training http://www.atg-training.co.uk/ on Monday. Matt is a visionary who cares passionately about giving young people every chance to fulfill themselves – through apprenticeships and other skill based training. He feels that the overemphasis on academic achievement that leads to large amounts of money invested in academic recognition and polytechnics calling themselves universities has neglected manual and craft based skills. This is why plumbers are scarce and can charge such exorbitant amounts when my drain overflows.
We worked together on Matt’s vision for his career. We recognised how influential an impact he already has in his circles, both at work and in cycling (another passion of his) and how to capitalise on his leadership skills and potential. He already too has recognition from leaders in his area of expertise who are very keen to have Matt further involved. He is ‘ the man most likely to…’ and is realising that this reflects how confident he already is.
Sometimes my work is not just about helping my clients develop new skills to influence others. It’s also about recognising the influence that already exists.
Yesterday I worked with another client on helping her gain ‘gravitas’ with new clients. Actually we learnt that she tended to weaken her position by taking on too much of a ‘supporter’ role and made herself too available which made her worry that she lowered her in the eyes of potential and actual clients.
Though when she really examined her impact on her fellow directors and team members, she had a ‘recognition reflex’. Her eyes widened, her body language opened and her shoulders relaxed. She saw that her impact was very strong and that only in repositioning herself by being clear as to her boundaries, she would gain respect and ‘gravitas’ from clients easily.
Gaining influence is as much about saying ‘no’ as in saying ‘yes’.