Three Behaviors that Positively Influence People

Meaningful Relationships Start With Positive Interactions

Have you ever taken a good look at people and their careers? Do you know colleagues who literally hate their work and always complain? There are others who tolerate their work and they see it as a paycheck, working in an environment they do not enjoy. Finally, there are those who absolutely love what they do and cherish it. This third group may be the smallest of the three, but they stand out because they simply make things better.

Researching and studying characteristics of highly successful teachers and leaders has lead me to a few conclusions; those who positively shape the organization around them possess three core behaviors that set them apart.

1. They commit to continually learning.

Some of the most influential people I know realize that they are not perfect. They understand that their learning has no plateaus, as they consistently look for ways to close gaps and limitations. When you’re a learner, you seek clarity. These individuals know inherently that vague desires and beliefs will most likely lead to vague outcomes. Because of their sense of direction, they maintain the ability to stick to their goals and achieve their dreams.

By contrast, I know a lot of narcissists who aim to be the best in everything, even if it is something they are not interested in.

2. They share what they know.

I know of several education professionals or “experts” who keep their knowledge secret, very close to the vest. The only conclusion I can arrive at is that they are afraid to let it out for fear someone will steal it, or in some cases, do it even better. This is the opposite of a positive influencer’s mindset. Those colleagues who make a true positive difference can not help but share and teach what they’ve learned. They don’t see their knowledge as something only they can do – they see it as information that has to be shared with the rest of the grade level, the school, and the district. They believe their innovations will be of value to others. In sum, they live the universal principle  – “the more you give, the more you get.”

3. They engage with people that mutually benefit everyone involved.

Many educators understand the power of relational trust, connection, and engaging with each other openly. These people are not afraid to get “out there” –to connect with others, enthusiastically sharing their knowledge and talents, even sensitively challenging other viewpoints and opinions. They are not shy and introverted. In fact, they actively seek to build environments that build and catapult better personal and professional relationships. Anything and everything they want to achieve is based on authentic and supportive relationships.

Are you eager to make a positive impact in your organization?  If you are, how do these behaviors match your own? How are they different?

As you can see by the above observations, influence is not about how many people you can tell what to do. It’s about how many people you can understand, empower, and motivate. When we are influential we feel flexible and powerful, and our team feels that we are capable and collaborative.