“ Good humour is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment. ”

- Greenville Kleisser

Power your Verve

Written by  , Published in Blogs & Articles

If 2015 left you feeling somewhat bruised and weary, I hope that connecting with others in 2016 brings some “verve” [synonyms]… warmth, zest, gusto, dash, drive and zing to your world and that you return the favour.

“Verve” can be defined as that extra something – a great, warm, humble, kind, friendly or vigorous energy that stimulates motivation in others.

The Big Gig, Global Economy echo’s interconnectedness, ethics, integrity, accountability and economies of scale as themes for the future. South Africans, for obvious reasons, are silently or violently yearning for the “Return Of Integrity” (ROI) in our society and economy.

I was elated when a client and business partner announced that she stumbled across a global company who selected INFLUENCE as one of their core values. Why did I not think of that!? The Influence Company is obsessed with the idea of propelling and harbouring the exact temperature for accelerated performance, transformation and resilience in our society and businesses. Our work is dedicated to translate the “what” we want to be in our company to the “how” in the corridor. This flash of brilliance from an outsider at the tail-end of 2015 was a humbling “Aha” moment in my career.

How to make Influence a Societal & Organisational Value

Trustworthiness is the first step to acquiring powerful and sustainable influence in any context. Before diving into the actual science around influence with us, consider assessing how others will rate your willingness | ability to demonstrate warmth.  The term warm when used emotionally, conveys an exclusively positive tone:  simply and sincerely indicating and showing interest and affection. 

Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist at Harvard, brilliantly simplifies her findings about how “People Size You Up” in seconds:

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

“If someone you are trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you are not going to get very far.”

First Steps First

Cuddy explains that demonstrating warmth and competence (in this particular order) are the keys to the affirmative of the “Size You Up” questions.

If you don’t have time for that, care to, or see a Return On Investment (ROI) in such a response, forget about bringing “Verve” into 2016 and don’t expect to stimulate a culture of positive influence.  
A culture of positive influence starts with harbouring and propelling trustworthiness first. My wish for our country in 2016 is that we each accept accountability to close the trustworthiness gap. Cuddy explains that the professional notion is to favour looking smart and competent over being warm. Her research confirms that competence is only evaluated after trust is established. Don’t let this thinking error backfire and leave an impression that you are unapproachable or indifferent in 2016. 

If you deem your influence in our country, society and economy of any significance, start with the simple first step of offering warmth. No effort or “rah, rah” is required. We all show warmth in a unique way. Some people pay quiet attention, some make it light and humorous, some bring passion and enthusiasm and others are friendly or non-judgmental. Whatever works for you, the key is to connect by being sincere and caring.

What follows are your ability to demonstrate that you are competent, honest and reliable in word and deed.

Without these key elements, words like ethics and integrity will remain boardroom concepts and accountability will remain a pipe dream. Learning skills like positive influence could be twisted into negative manipulation which will serve us no good.

May warmth followed by competence be the foundation of your influence in 2016 and may we collectively create the “Verve” or “Zing” to transform our economy and our society.

Our warm wishes for hope and happiness, especially amidst the adversities we might face in 2016!

Last modified onWednesday, 08 June 2016 07:36