Influence Through Your Strengths


Ahhhh, relationships. They can make work a pain. Or they can make it beautiful. This week, pump up your relationship-quotient by focusing on not just what gets done, but how it gets done through one of your Top 5 Talent Themes.


Your Goal?


Watch How Your Talents Impact Your Relationships
For example, do you collect friends, or are you more guarded about your circle? Do you view every teammate equally, or do you believe that every person has a unique perspective that needs to be uncovered? Do you feel what others feel? Do you notice when people are being left out and find ways to bring them into the fold?


None of these are right or wrong, they’re simply clues to how you relate. Watch them this week at work and notice your preferences.


Now you can apply it at work:

  • Networking.  Consider your natural talents and how they should influence your professional network. For example, people with Futuristic might use an inspirational conversation about the future to connect with a new colleague. Someone who leads through Relator may have the best event ever when they have a meaningful dinner with a single person (forget the business-card-exchanging flavor of networking events if you’re a Relator).  Step through each of your Talent Themes and ask yourself how you could use that as a strength in building new relationships.


  • Persuading. When it’s time to influence other people, you get to go on strengths double-duty. First, look at your talents. Review each one and ask yourself how they show up when you’re trying to influence people to think or feel or do something different. The double-magic of this one is that you should also consider your audience. What is the other person’s approach? If you make it all about them–their interests, preferences, or style–you’ll frame up your position in a way that feels more palatable.


  • Listening. Look at your natural patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Do you tend to talk more than listen? Do you think you’re always right (even if you don’t say that aloud)? Or do you listen so hard with your Empathy or Harmony talents that you might let people walk all over you? Tune into these patterns. Watch them this week at work and look for ways to hear fully. And then act intentionally based on what you learn.


Does this seem laborious? It’s definitely tougher than looking in the mirror for tactical things. Heck, human relationships are wrapped up in everything. And people are complex. So, yup, this one gets hairy sometimes.


You’ve probably heard the Maya Angelou quote, “People will forget what you said. They’ll forget what you did. But they’ll never forget the way you made them feel.” The great news is that there’s no one way to leave an impression on your relationships. Use your talents to make someone feel something deliberate this week. Maybe you lead with Competition and you make someone feel great because you’ll tell them how fun it is to run up against the best in the industry. Or maybe you lead with Discipline and you’ll tell a teammate how much you respect him for meeting deadlines and bringing such precision to your project. Whatever your talent, use it this week to notice others.



About Lisa Cummings

As an international speaker and facilitator, Lisa Cummings has delivered events to over 15,500 participants in 14 countries. You can see her featured in places like Harvard Business Publishing, Training Magazine, and Forbes. She specializes in virtual StrengthsFinder training for teams. When she’s not out spotting strengths in people, you'll find her playing drums, rescuing dogs, or watching live music in Austin, TX. Her Top 5 StrengthsFinder Talents are: Strategic | Maximizer | Positivity | Individualization | Woo.