Every interaction we have with people in our daily life is a powerful chance to influence them positively or negatively. We subconsciously and consciously do things that affect these relationships one way or the other.  If you’re looking to up your influence with those around you, here are a few tips!

1: Listen to what they’re saying

It sounds cliché but listening to someone as opposed to truly hearing what they’re saying are two totally different things. If someone’s taking the energy to talk to you, whether it be about their kid’s troubles in schools or even about their favorite baseball team, it’s disrespectful and hurts the relationship if they know you’re not listening. Engage in the conversation, practice parroting to keep the conversation going and allow them to really open up. Do this withouttaking over the discussion and you’ll be able to power your relationships with ease.

2: Show appreciation

Everyone wants to feel appreciated for things that they do throughout the day. Most of us do little things in our daily routine that improve the general work setting and make our workplaces the special places they are. Maybe you notice someone organizing the bulletin board to make everything easy to see, or there’s one person who always does the dishes despite the fact that no one is asking them to. Acknowledging these things will never fail to put a smile on someone’s face.

3: Assist with difficult decisions

This tip is a bit riskier than the first two, but can have a much bigger payoff in the long run. Let’s say a coworker or a friend is overwhelmed by a difficult decision they need to make and they’re having trouble weighing out their options. If you can help them reach a conclusion that feels right to them without imposing your own personal thoughts and feelings into their end decision, they’ll thank you for helping them nail down a final plan. You can do this by writing lists of all the pros and cons of either option, and slowly weigh them against each other until you’ve spoken enough and they’ve decided they have all the information necessary to make that final decision.

4: Give a gift

It might be generic but everyone likes getting a little something to get them through the day. Grab your boss a coffee, or your teacher an apple (unless you’re in med school). This counts as another way of showing appreciation, but I like to think of it as appreciation with a prize. You want to be careful with those though, because too many gifts may have you coming off as having an ulterior motive.

5: Remember that everyone around you knows something you don’t

Regardless of your opinion of someone on a professional or personal level, there’s a lesson to be learned with every single person you interact with. From the highest CEO to the janitor cleaning his personal lavatory, everyone is worth treating with respect because you don’t know their background, and with each different background, comes a different perspective. It is our belief that the more perspective you gain, the more empathetic you become, the more empathetic you become, the more likely you are to have a positive impact on those around you.

Take these tips and strive for the positivity and personal empowerment we all need to succeed.