Tag Archive for: online degree

Group Dynamics and Influencing People

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions below on the comments link or direct to her email address: adrienne.carlson1@gmail.com.

A close friend and I had a discussion recently about how much of an effect our formative years have on the way we think and act as adults. We debated about the lasting influence the choice of school and college can have on a child. And although we found ourselves agreeing that the kind of education we had did in some way contribute to the kind of people we are today, we also realized that there were others who had the same education that we did, but who have totally different interests and attitudes in life today.

This made me wonder about the composition of a group and the influence that it has on each of us, and vice versa. Every group has a mix of people who are subject to common factors and in a similar environment at a point of time. But each of its members turn out differently and use (or choose not to use) their education and experience in different ways. Some are influencers and the rest become the influenced. The power factor may swing like a pendulum at times, but at any given time, there is always a set of a few people who influence the rest of the crowd.

Now if you have been an influencer from your early days because of your popularity, you don’t really want to give up your authoritative status. But you must realize that your influence is based only the group that you are with at present. If you change groups, either of your own will or because you’re forced to, the dynamics change and you must reorient yourself to suit the new group’s needs and priorities. And even though you’re used to being the influencer in your previous group, you may not have as much influence as you would like in your new group because there may be people who are more powerful than you. So to become an influencer, you need to get among the top few in the group.

Very few people have what it takes to be influencers, no matter how many groups we change. But for most of us, we have to try really hard to change our status with every group change we make. We may be popular or high achievers in school, but when we move to college, it takes time and effort to achieve the same kind of influence that we enjoyed in our younger days. It may even be the other way round – people who are nobodies in high school go on to do really well in college or later life.

The point is, no matter how much of an influence you currently have on people and situations, the dynamics keep changing within the context of the group. New people come in and old ones go out, and with each change, it is important that you realign yourself to fit in with the interests of the current group. This constant evolution is what makes you a truly influential person, one who can get people to follow your leadership without saying no.

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”