We all have them. Every. Single. One of us.
So yes, it does mean that we are all superheros in one form or another.
If there is only one thing I learned last week it is this:
The only one you can change is yourself but you have the profound power of influencing others.
Some of us will do it through our writing. Some of us will do it through our speech. Some of us will do it through action but most of us will do it without being aware that we are influencing factors in someone’s life.
Why It’s Important To Be Aware of Your Powers
Picture this. You’re on the phone with a roadside assistance company. They want to charge you for a service you know should be receiving for free. You get angry, you yell, you threaten to speak to their superiors. Half a day goes by while the company tells you they are checking their policy. You’re becoming more angry by the minute.
You finally get a grip on your anger. You realize that is not what’s going to help you. You remember you have secret powers. You just recently read a blog post about it.
We are more effective when we’re calm. Our minds work better when they are clear and unclouded by our emotions. So you calm down and make a plan. What will make the woman on the other side of the phone listen?
And then you remember. You call your insurance agent. After all, you’re supposed to be receiving the service free-of-charge because you’re paying for it through your insurance.
You make the call. Your insurance agent is on your side. “Of course you should be receiving the service at no cost” she says. “Can you please speak to the roadside assistance company?” you ask. Your agent complies. Your business is important to her.
An hour later your receive a call from the roadside assistance company. They’re on their way.
This is a true story. It happened to me and I learned an important lesson. Much of our communication comes down to our understanding of what will make the other side listen. We also need to understand that when trying to do something that involves another party, usually the other party has nothing against us. It’s not that the roadside assistance company didn’t want to provide a service free-of-charge because of who I am. Rather it was a certain policy that the customer service representative felt that she had to comply with. Once I was able to understand that I could start thinking of a solution that would help her understand that it’s in her best interest to help me. Even if I wasn’t the one who convinced her.
Paradoxically, understanding that it’s not all about you is an empowering lesson. The freer you are to assess the situation the more effective you will be in influencing whoever it is you want to have an effect on.
Next time you’re about to get angry, stay calm and think about your secret powers. Use them wisely. And even if at the beginning their usage feels cumbersome remember that the more you use them the better you’ll get at employing them.