How Do You Expand Your Circle Of Influence?

Do you want to expand the amount of influence you have, in general, within a particular role you fill, or dealing with a new-found interest?

You may want to advance in your job or career (e.g., putting yourself on a path to becoming a supervisor). Or, maybe there’s a cause you want to contribute to, but you want to go beyond giving money or volunteering now and then (e.g., you may want to serve on a non-profit’s board). On a more personal level, you may want to increase your sway within your family (e.g., because you see important familial decisions are on the horizon).

You need more than a desire to accomplish something to improve your circle of influence. It would help if you also went beyond setting a goal.

Expanding your capacity for influence requires a plan or a process focused on achieving your desired outcome. The late self-improvement author and public speaker Stephen R. Covey encouraged people to define the circle of their concerns and then, within that circle, honestly assess their circle of influence.

Most people (those who aren’t wealthy, well-connected, or possess a high amount of privilege) often have more concerns than they have a realistic ability to impact. That said, individuals also have more power, skills, or talents than they give themselves credit for.

Covey noted that people who put positive, proactive energy into things they can impact—within their circle of influence—not only get more things done, but they also likely can expand their circle of influence. (The reverse is true for those who are simply reactive to what the world throws at them.)

So, how can you expand your circle of influence? Do you have a plan or process for accomplishing your goal? Is the plan focused on things you can realistically impact?

Related questions: How have your parents influenced you? What impact do you think you have on other people? What are our responsibilities to others?

2 thoughts on “How Do You Expand Your Circle Of Influence?”

  1. My first thought is to ask for God’s help and guidance. With God all things are possible. Jesus said ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.

    On my own, influencing others isn’t something I’m good at. That’s why I wasn’t a salesman or an executive. And yet, with God’s help I do influence others, starting with my family, co-workers, and members of my faith communities.
    Yesterday I did a reading at church that brought tears to someone. (She came up and thanked me afterwards).
    Today I’m having breakfast with a friend and I hope I can listen deeply to his concerns.
    Finally, may I suggest that you start small, with those closest to you. Serve others. As Jesus told his disciples, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant

    1. If that last sentence sounds a little preachy, I apologize. I’m trying to start small with those closest to me and be a servant.
      p.s. I hope someone else will be moved to comment on this question.

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