Own Your Awesomeness

Many experts reduce their ability to influence by deferring to others. They don’t own what they know, and why they know it. This deferring is subtle but has a massive impact on your ability to influence.

It’s a function of the university idea of standing on the shoulders of giants. While it is important to reference where your material comes from, the way you reference can have a massive impact on your positioning.

I was working with a commodities trader to help him deliver his message one-on-one with clients. In part of his presentation, he said, “BHP tells us that in the next twelve months, China will use more steel than the USA has used over the last 100 years. You need to invest in iron ore.”

This is a strong statement on the value of his argument. But it’s not as strong as it could be. The reason for this is he is riding on the coattails of BHP. BHP is the entity with the knowledge and he is repeating it.

To make it more powerful, we re-structured his message. We changed it to, “In the next twelve months, China will use more steel than the USA has over the last 100 years”. This positioned him as the source of the information. Should he be challenged on where that information comes from, he said, “BHP tells us that.”

The difference between the two statements is subtle but powerful. In the first statement, my client was repeating the knowledge others had given him. In the second, BHP was supporting his argument. This is what his end clients wanted.

Would love your thoughts on this, and how you can use it to influence others.

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