In this episode, I sit down with New York Times best-selling author and world-renown speaker and trainer Chris Widener to discuss…”The Art of Influence”.
Chris Widener's achievements and expertise in the fields of public speaking, coaching, and writing are truly remarkable. With over 10,000 speeches delivered to audiences of up to 45,000 attendees and engagements with numerous network marketing companies, he has undoubtedly honed his skills as a captivating speaker and influencer.
As a New York Times best-selling author with over 20 books to his name, Chris has established himself as a prolific writer, sharing his knowledge and insights on various subjects, particularly leadership and influence. His association with legendary figures like Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn further highlights his credibility and expertise in the field of personal development and leadership training.
The opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion with Chris and hear his stories first-hand was a privilege. His vast experience as a speaker, author, and coach offers a unique perspective on the art of influence and how it can be applied to personal and professional growth.
As a master storyteller, Chris shares valuable insights and real-life examples that not only make the discussion of the art of influence interesting, but also practical and applicable to everyday life.
Todd: What it is that makes a person influential?
Chris: Influence is the power to affect and change another person's thoughts, beliefs, and actions. When you can bring about such changes in others, you are considered to have influence over them.
Influence is not a binary concept where you either have it or you don't. Instead, it exists on a spectrum. Therefore, everyone possesses some level of influence, but what matters is the degree to which you can influence others. Some individuals may have a larger sphere of influence, reaching and impacting a vast number of people, while others may have a more focused influence on a smaller group.
Understanding that influence is a matter of degrees can be empowering because it means that one can develop and grow their influence over time. By honing communication skills, building trust, exhibiting integrity, and cultivating charisma, one can enhance their ability to influence others positively.
Ultimately, influence is a crucial aspect of leadership and interpersonal relationships, and being mindful of how we use our influence can lead to positive changes and growth in those around us.
Todd: What’s the most effective way to influence people?
Chris: To be truly influential, it's essential to grow in two directions: breadth and depth.
Breadth of Influence: This aspect of influence is about reaching a large number of people. Social media influencers are a prime example of individuals who possess significant breadth of influence. They have the ability to impact and connect with a vast audience through various online platforms. Having a wide reach allows them to disseminate messages, ideas, and content to a large number of people simultaneously.
Depth of Influence: On the other hand, the depth of influence is about moving people toward a particular direction. It involves having a profound impact on individuals or a specific group, leading them to take meaningful actions or make significant changes in their lives. Depth of influence often involves building deeper relationships, trust, and connections with others to inspire and empower them.
Overall, balancing both breadth and depth of influence while being mindful of how others perceive your influence can contribute to becoming a more effective and ethical influencer.
Additionally, the acceptance of influence by others is a crucial factor.
People make decisions about whether to allow someone to influence them on both conscious and subconscious levels. Trust, credibility, and authenticity play vital roles in determining whether individuals are receptive to being influenced by someone.
Lastly, it's essential to recognize that influence is not something you can claim for yourself.
It's a perception held by others about your ability to effect change and make a difference. Therefore, understanding and acknowledging that others determine the level of influence you hold can help you approach influence with genuine intentions.
Todd: How do we develop influence to improve our business?
Chris: There are two key aspects to highlight: skillset and character.
Skillset: Having a strong skillset is vital in the process of influence. One crucial skill is effective communication. Being able to articulate ideas, thoughts, and messages clearly and persuasively is essential in getting others to understand and resonate with your perspective. Communication enables you to connect with people on a deeper level and convey your influence effectively.
Character: While skillset is important, character traits hold greater significance in influencing others in the long term. The number one character trait is integrity. Demonstrating integrity and being honest and principled in your actions creates trust with others. Trust is the foundation of influence. When people perceive you as a person of integrity, they are more likely to follow your lead and be influenced by your ideas.
Todd: As we wrap up, I have to ask what was it like working with legends Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn?
Chris: The advice I received from both of them is simply “be yourself.” Here's why being true to yourself is so important:
Originality: Each person is unique, with their own set of skills, experiences, and perspectives. Being authentic to who you are allows you to bring your individuality to the forefront, making your influence more genuine and compelling.
Authenticity: People can sense when someone is being authentic, and they are more likely to connect with and trust individuals who are honest about their thoughts and intentions.
Transparency: When you are transparent, you build trust and credibility with others. People are more inclined to follow and be influenced by leaders who are open about their motives and actions.
Integrity: Integrity is the foundation of trust. Leaders with integrity inspire loyalty and long-term commitment from those they influence.
WOW…what an incredible conversation! It's clear that Chris is a true expert in the art of influence. With his impressive track record and dedication to his craft, it’s no surprise that he continues to inspire and empower people around the world. To learn more about Chris visit www.chriswidener.com.
Thanks for tuning into The Fearless Networker™ Podcast. Listen to the show, comment and leave a rating to let me know what you think of this episode. Post any questions you may have and tell us about your experiences regarding this subject. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to share.