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Influence has Nothing to do with Luck - dice thumbnail
Part One in our Coaching and Influence Series

When it comes to trying to get people to do what we want, we pay particular attention to how specific people have responded before to our attempts at influencing them at work — how much “luck” we have enjoyed as a result of those successful efforts.

But influence does not rely on luck. If you understand how and why your previous influence attempts succeeded or failed, you are on solid ground in using that past behavior to predict the future. Leaders who are savvy influencers learn from their previous influence experiences with their colleague and incorporate their insights into new influence attempts. These leaders pay particular attention to their colleague’s preferences, characteristics and attributes as they influence them.

Do you ever have a boomer coaching client express frustration with an up-and-coming Millennial leader?  Or vice versa, do you ever find yourself coaching a Millennial or Gen-X leader who struggles with the command and control style of his or her boss?  

In the coaching and leadership world, where our organizations are global, we try to be culturally competent. But are we? Do we see past ourselves?

The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition defines resilience as, “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Reivich and Shatte identify four uses for resilience. Many individuals must call on their reserves of resilience to overcome the negative experiences of their childhood.

While waiting out a flight delay at the gate recently, the man in the seat next to me struck up a conversation. An older Indian man, he asked about the boarding process. He struggled with his English at times, but his sincerity filled in the gaps such that we had a nice conversation.

One of the challenges of the coaching world has been the confusion over terminology. Just how is coaching different from or similar to other ‘helping by talking’ approaches like mentoring, training, instructing, consulting and counseling?

The simple power of awareness first became evident to me when I participated in a meditation course at a Buddhist temple in Washington DC. Sitting uncomfortable, cross-legged, I was asked to focus on my breath, only to be obstructed by an unhelpful flood of thoughts. 

Are human coaches headed for the same disruption experienced by human travel agents?  Should you start asking for recommendations on coding boot camps or career coaches? Before making any of these leaps, let’s start with how digital coaching may develop and reconfigure today’s coaching market.    

Coaching practice is an interaction between two individuals, where one is seeking help and the other is providing it. Neither party is free from his/her biases in this process. Let’s take a closer look and get a better understanding of what those biases might be.