A four part article series by Caterina Rando, MA, MCC
I want you to enjoy a life where exciting opportunities come to you regularly, where every time you walk in to a room, be it a boardroom, an exhibit hall, or your local coffee shop–people know your name and are thrilled to see you. I want you to have a life where you get through to other influential people when you call them, all your invitations are accepted and your potential clients and project colleagues are a yes to working with you even before they meet you. One of the best ways to become the person described is by building your influence and one of the best ways to do that is by being generous.
Being stingy sucks and being generous feels great. I know this first hand because my mother has always been a very happy and very generous person. She was an elementary school teacher for many years she would stay late to work with students who needed extra help, give supplies to the school children who could not afford them, always greet both student and teachers by name and with a smile. She was the most influential teacher in her school without even trying. There is an Italian saying that she used as a guiding principle in life that I want you to embrace Fa bene, e disricordare, this translates into “do good and forget about it”. I was shocked recently when I heard a celebrity say she keeps track of all the kind things she does for someone so she can remind them of them when she needs something. This is ridiculous. Do good and forget about it. The law of reciprocity will keep track for you.
There are five wonderful ways to easily be generous. Five different ways to show someone you genuinely care about them and want to help. Spending quality time with them in person or over the phone, giving them your money when they ask for a contribution or spending money on them to show you care. My favorite free way to build influence is sharing words of encouragement or appreciation. There is more, giving people gifts and sharing your contacts with them are all ways of being generous that build your influence.
When thinking about being generous with your time this can mean being generous with your listening or being generous with advice or guidance. Another way to be really generous is to invite and include people in a meeting or event that you think would really benefit them. I often invite people as my guest to my live trainings because I know they will get a lot of value out of it. This creates a lot of good will and it also serves to cultivate relationships.
My other favorite thing to do is to invite people to go where I am going. If I am going to a luncheon or a networking event or a workshop I invite several people who I know would enjoy attending. This works great for creating influence when you have a whole table full of people who all know you but do not yet know each other. The first thing they do is talk about you and how fabulous you are.
Follow these ideas to create more influence starting today. These ideas will build you influence with everyone you already know now and everyone you will meet in the future