The Influence Advantage: Harnessing Hope

I have only been in a court room once. I was at the courts martial of a friend as a potential character witness. It was a judge alone court where the defendant (my friend) chose not to be judged by a jury of his peers. As the case came to a close and all the evidence had been presented, I took two glances, one at the judge and the other at my friend. Both had a feeling of a burdensome weight. The judge had the weight of the fate of my friend in their hands. And my friend, of course, was looking into the face of the one person that held the hope of the rest of his life in their decision. As the judge rendered the verdict, you could almost feel the power in the room. Unfortunately, my friend was found guilty. The devastation my friend must have experience in that moment must have been excruciating. But it taught me a powerful lesson in how holding the hope of the lives of others makes an immeasurable difference.

I just cannot shake the picture in my head of what it looks like to hold power, authority or influence in your hands. To some, it's that judge, to others it could be a gun, a report card, a paycheck or a cell phone to may millennials. But to me, it's Street Fighter. As I understand it, the fighting art is called "Hado" and it helps a person harness their "ki". Once a person has developed a connection with their "ki", they then learn, based on their own personality, outlook on life, inner strength and struggle, how to release their "ki". It manifests in different ways depending on the individual. "Ki" in this context represents hope. The reality is, there are people that have the ability to hold our hopes in their grips just like Ryu holds his "ki". Let's be honest, if we had some buff person in front of us with lightning in their hands, they can motivate us to do just about anything!

Harnessing the power to hold hope in our hands is one of the most influential things we can do. But it takes a deep sense of connection to do it right. It is a dangerous as holding the life of a person in our hands, like a judge. There are things that we must understand about ourselves and others. It's pivotal to know what we are getting ourselves into. Just the fact that we are able to access the hope of others is a powerful feat that produces massive amounts of influence. So before we go harnessing hope for others, we must have a great hold on who we are. It doesn't mean we have to be perfect, but we need to know what our strengths and weaknesses are and have an idea of how to manage them. Because we can potentially destroy hope instead of producing greatness for others.

We don't need to be in positions of power or video game characters to harness hope. We need to be sure of ourselves, though, just like the judge and just like Ryu. Neither is perfect, (one isn't even real), but they project a high level of self-confidence. It's that confidence that allows others to be drawn in, and when we draw others in, we can grab their hope, harness it, then launch their hope out with more force and momentum than they could imagine possible! Here are some thoughts on how to achieve the influence advantage by harnessing hope:

1) Realize where you are in life and get a good handle on how to self-navigate.

2) Connect your personality and life story with others to build trust on an intimate level.

3) Evict fear by introducing strength through active listening and fully understanding others.

4) Protect people by explaining how much you value them, who they are and the potential they have. Start by talking about how you have overcome specific adversity that relates to them.

5) Release them into their best by shooting them out in places they had not thought of, or with people they haven't yet had connected with.

Caleb Roche