Gather Influential Evidence Like Sherlock Holmes (and The Mistake That Harms Influence)

One of the first lessons I talk about in all of my training programs – live and online – is the concept of observing without judgement.


At first glance, this may feel like a duh kind of moment. Everyone feels like they get the concept right away. They nod their heads in easy agreement. However, in one-on-one sessions or in group calls, clients realize that the ability to observe without judgement takes a little more effort and awareness than they initially thought.

A perfect example of this came up recently. One of my clients had an important meeting scheduled with their boss. This meeting was the beginning of an important organizational change. My client wanted to make sure that they were considered as a “key player” for what was on the horizon.

I asked my client to send me a description of their boss. They had been through my Building Personal Influence course, so they sent me a rough sketch of the supervisor’s profile, keywords, identifiers, and other insights – the kinds of influential evidence. My client, also went above and beyond by asking a trusted associate to write out some of their thoughts about the boss.

The two different perspectives highlighted a very important lesson.

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Why Communication Isn’t Influential

“I feel like anytime you’re talking to someone, you’re influencing them.” the pretty woman said to me at a charity function for the Grammy Foundation in LA. 

Her statement started to bother me the next day. What she said was on a continuous loop in my head and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally, it hit me. 

But after sitting with it, I realized that there is a major flaw in that thinking.

Communicating clearly and being influential are related, but not the same.Continue Reading

How to Deal with Squirrels at a Networking Event

I had a very “LA moment” the other day – even though I’m sure a similar scene plays out around the world. 

I was at a conference for entrepreneurs. A wide variety of companies were represented – chiropractic practices, beauty companies, life coaches, and so on. 

The first presentation was a panel of marketing and public relations experts, representing different companies. During the Q&A I lobbed a very professional but hard-hitting question to the PR firms about their business models. 

One of the panelists, an owner of a PR firm, must have been intrigued by me – either for networking purposes or she saw a potential client in me – because when there was a break in the schedule, she made a beeline over to me with her card in hand.networking event

Now, I couldn’t tell you what she had in mind or why she wanted to talk to me…and here’s why.

As she was making her way across the room to speak with me, I was in mid-conversation with an owner of a speakers bureau. (Speakers bureaus are like hollywood talent agents, but for professional speakers.) 

Here’s how it went down.Continue Reading

Effective Communication the Artist’s Way

I can’t draw. Never have been able to. The best thing I can manifest on paper is a smiley face. Because of my complete lack of ability in this area, it makes perfect sense that I am astonished by people in the visual arts. Making something look like what they see in the real worldContinue ReadingContinue Reading

“Oops! I Said the Wrong Thing. Now What?”

None of us are immune to accidentally saying the wrong thing. We might have good intentions, but we unfortunately chose the wrong words. When your in a leadership position, the ramifications of saying the wrong thing are even greater. That’s why I wrote this article for – Correcting Leadership Communication Mishaps I want toContinue Reading

Traveling Through Influential Communication

When people are first introduced to this world of influential communication, they naturally feel overwhelmed at first. There are many moving pieces – body language, techniques, profiling, strategies, etc.  It’s like opening up a watch and seeing all the gears at once for the first time. Which gear does what? What happens first? What connectsContinue Reading

Resisting Confidence

  Okay, let’s face it. I’m not really known for being demure or meek. In fact, I’m pretty sure that neither of those adjectives have ever been used to describe me. In my line of work – speaking, coaching, and training – my outgoing and confident nature certainly serves me well. However, that doesn’t meanContinue Reading

Better Meetings Made Easy

Better Meetings Made Easy I have to confess something. I hate pointless meetings. I’m sure I’m not alone in this and yet there are thousands of meetings happening right now and I’d bet that more than half of them are filled with bored, demoralized, and disgruntled employees. If you don’t want people dreading the ideaContinue Reading

Which is More Persuasive: Positive or Negative Influence?

Which is More Persuasive: Positive or Negative Influence? When you need to be influential, chances are you will be faced with the question, “how can I frame my pitch to be more persuasive?”  In this quick video, I give you my best tip on how to prepare for that exact situation.

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