Are you an Influencer?

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Don’t get me wrong! I ain’t referring to being an influencer in the world of blogging and endorsing various brands and products. I mean being an influencer in real life and helping bringing about a positive change in people. Often we notice that one kind word or a small piece of advice which perhaps wasn’t worth more than two cents made so much difference to the receiver and helped him/ her overcome a challenge. It is a heart-warming experience indeed.

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Typically we notice that a powerful person is looked at as a great influencer. Power speaks volumes and makes the power bearer an authority in his/ her realm, for starters. That authority commands a lot of respect and the person becomes an automatic influencer; someone who is looked upon whenever the needed hour arrives. Experts often hold the position of authority as well, because of their expertise and turn into influencers. This expertise could be through years of experience or due to specialisation in a particular field. It is true that grey hair aka seniority is held in higher esteem, however nothing stops a five year old from being called an expert and gaining the title of ‘influencer.’ For one, my little niece is a great influencer for me. When she was all of five years old, she taught me a game related to word formation on my blackberry (one of the many things that she taught me) – something that I had been struggling for a while and had kept it aside then, to be taken up later when I would be able to make time to go through the rules. I was shocked at that time, because she could merely read three – four word alphabets at that time, but her love for the language and her passion to play a game on the blackberry (which had only two games) pushed her into learning it herself and then passing on the knowledge. So yes, passion also plays a big role in turning a simpleton into an influencer.

I have been thinking about this subject for a while. Why is it that only people who possess power, expertise and passion (this ain’t an exhaustive list, because I am sure money features here big time and it helps gain power, but that is not what I am getting at) can be regarded as influencers? Are you and I not an influencer in own right? Are these credentials a necessity to become an influencer? In daily life we don’t need an ‘influencer’ badge to make a difference to people and our surroundings, to change people’s minds, shape opinions and move people to act too. There are a few quick things that we can do to become one in real life:

  1. Bridging: You can build relationships and connect with people by listening to them and understanding them.
  2. Finding commonalities: Having something in common creates a very powerful psychological bond and helps in getting across to others.
  3. Being strategic with persuasion: If you need to influence someone who you don’t know, you can try talking to someone who is close to them instead.
  4. Being assertive: If you believe in yourself and your ideas and thoughts and know that they will make a difference, it’ important that you insist that your ideas are heard.
  5. Borrowing expertise: If you aren’t an expert, your world isn’t doomed yet. A thoughtful curator can pick up the best ideas in his/ her field, such that others turn to you for guidance.
  6. Inspiring: You can advocate your position and encourage others with a sense of a shared purpose and exciting possibilities, thus inspiring them.

Happy influencing!

 

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