Category Archives: focus

Being Influential

Do you have good ideas? Are you sometimes frustrated when they go nowhere? What do you do when you run up against resistance or just can’t seem to get a response?

For problems to get solved, for innovation to occur, for collaboration to grow out of conflict; new ideas and solutions are needed.
And yet, it may be difficult to dislodge the status quo or even get a hearing for a new idea. Organizational decision-making can be complex or unclear. A lack of confidence in yourself, your ideas, or your standing may hold you back.

Alternatively, when you do succeed in making a difference, you feel good, and valued, and that your work is worthwhile. Things may not be perfect where you work but they are moving in a good direction. Influence is a motivator.

Being influential is not merely a result of position power. Influence is a set of skills that can be learned and that need to be honed as you grow in your career. SYNTAX is the result of modeling and distilling the crucial ways of acting and being that create influence. It exists to help people with good ideas get them across and acted upon.

Take something that you would like to have happen in your workplace, an idea you would like considered, a solution you can offer. What are the first thoughts that come to mind? Here are the seeds of your own personal syntax, the kernel of how you organize for influence. Starting from there, SYNTAX helps you bring your contribution to others so that they can get on board, make decisions, and take action.

As a launch pad, answer these questions about your idea.

What do I want to happen?

What will that get me / you / us?

How will we know – what specific evidence will tell us – when this is done?

Outstanding influencers can answer these questions for themselves and for the people they want to reach. Knowing everyone’s intention, motivation, and evidence creates the needed focus for forward motion. This comes from Plan, one of the five SYNTAX skill sets.

When you can answer these three questions for any idea you want to bring forward, your influence is guaranteed to increase. Your ability to influence increases exponentially when you add in the other four skill sets. Your personal syntax becomes supercharged for influence.

We’re here to provide tools and guidance for you to create your unique roadmap with your own personal syntax as a starting point. That’s the purpose of the Messenger, and the purpose of SYNTAX courses, coaching, and consulting.
Join the influential people who have found out how much more of a difference they can make when they put SYNTAX to work for them. And today, enjoy the benefit of asking yourself “the three questions” for something you care about.

Nothing Substitutes for Attention

Attention is the essence of who we are, the elixir of communicating with others.

There’s an old saying that “The master’s gaze fattens the flock.” Our full attention to what we are doing and the people around us fattens the flock of our dreams. Especially now, with distractions pulling at us constantly, we are challenged to focus our attention on our priorities.

Hurrying and overload both diminish the quality of attention we can pay to both people and details.

The wastefulness of hurrying was underscored last week as I exchanged email messages about a business transaction. Some of the details came through garbled. I asked for clarification. Rather than reading her own email to see what I was asking, the sender sent me an explanatory attachment which did not at all clear up the garble. It took us three more exchanges plus apologies and extra phone messages before we backed out of that minor mis-communication. Nothing substitutes for actually looking at the details.

Hurrying leads to such things as sending on an email message without changing the subject line, hitting ‘reply all’ to avoid choosing the relevant recipients, jumping to conclusions rather than listening. Then we have to hurry even more to undo all those extra steps.

Overload makes it hard to focus and keep track of what is important to us. It’s good to remind ourselves that giving attention to too many things means we are giving full attention to nothing. If we have been on the run too long, we can get locked into overdrive. Those around us never receive that long loving look or deep listening from someone they trust. We don’t tap into our deeper resources for ourselves either. Nothing substitutes for attention to people.

Sometimes we get stuck, whether in overdrive, or in obsessing about something in the past or future that we cannot influence in this moment.

Even when we think there is no time, it is helpful to step out of the rush, shake loose from demands, worries, and trivia, and take an inventory of where our attention is. Come into the present, feel your physical self, take a breath, clear your mind.

Discover again what matters, and put your full attention there. With attention, time is well spent.