Influence & Irony

by John on August 8, 2011

For the past two weeks I’ve been a bit busy, wrapped up with some projects at work and quietly reading the blogs in my reader. It seems the recurring theme of influence has been quietly weaving its way through some of the posts. Who is an influence, how to influence, what does it truly mean to be an influencer… blah blah blah.

To me, influence is intimate and subtle; it’s not brash and loud. Ironically those with the loudest and brashest voices are often lauded as influencers. However, that perspective is a bit screwy (ever hear of this fringe group called the “Tea Party”?)

When I think of influence from a recruiting perspective, it’s pretty simple. You can do it or you can’t do it. That’s it; there is no grey area in which to play. Great recruiters know the value of a personal email, handwritten note, or after hours phone call.

I also have a theory that understanding influence is a lot like the self actualization process. As a recruiter, it’s important to look at the where, why and what of the influence process. Was it a fluke or cosmic convergence or did you really have that type of conversation that changed someone’s mind?

So as I go about all the crazy that is my to-do list this week, I’m going to pay attention to some of the conversations where I know I’ll be tasked with trying to influence someone. I’m going to be on the lookout for the non-verbal and verbal clues and ultimately I’ll keep in mind that I must use my powers for good.

That is of course unless I’m accosted by one of the aforementioned members of the lunatic fringe, then all bets are off!

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