(#129) Identify What You Can Influence

Today, you have the ability to have a positive impact
on your little area of the world.  Tomorrow, broaden that circle.

One of my students, during an in-class post-election discussion, said that he was disappointed at the level of nastiness that took control of the political campaigns. “What can we do about that?” he asked. 

Indeed, what can we do?  The short answer from my perspective is that we may not be able to affect the national discourse directly BUT we can have influence on our little sphere of the world.  For instance, I have five classes per


week. I meet each class two times.  I have the unique opportunity to influence my students in a positive way.  How? Not by proselytizing. In 31 years of teaching I have never used the classroom as a bully pulpit for my political beliefs.  One of the best compliments I have ever received from students is when they come to me at the end of an election or the end of a school year and say, “You know we still don’t know who you favor.”  Good!  They don’t pay tuition money to hear me pontificate about who should win elections.

My responsibility is to put facts, questions, scenarios, assumptions, and competing opinions in front of them and give them the tools to make their own decisions—and in that way they can influence their spheres of the world.

At times the workplace can throw ugliness our way. For the last six months or so, my college has been embroiled in a lot of negative press about the management of the institution.  It is distressing to read one negative news report after another.  What can I do? I can influence my little area of the college. Focus on the good I can do in the classroom each day.  Even when management will not listen to faculty, I can still have a positive impact on the students who choose to be with me each day. 

Video recommendation of the week:

They watch me for what I do. Does it match what I say?

We ALL have an influence on our environment.  If we feel like all is lost it may help to focus on the smallest piece of that environment. A dear friend and colleague (one of the few managers I have seen lately who really has leadership skills—and strives to use them for good) shared with me that when she is feeling lost, or when the world seems to be throwing too many things at her, she stops. And then she focuses on the smallest area she still has control over. Maybe it is her heart, her pulse, or her mind.  When she feels in control there, she then gradually and surely widens her circle of influence. 

What is your circle of influence?  What can you do to continue to make a difference? When someone like my student asks, “What can we do about that?” you have the ability to have a positive impact on your little area of the world today.  Tomorrow, broaden that circle.  Think of the good you will do as you influence those around you to make the world a better place. One person, one situation, one day, and one word at a time.

Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B.as needed!

REGISTER NOW for my November 28, 2012 P.D.Q. Webinar “Year in Review: Get Ready for Your Best Year Ever!” Click here or paste this link into your web browser: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2425700017577251072

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please pass it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli). Also, if you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Have a wonderful week!

©2012. Steve Piscitelli.

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in Civility, influence, Integrity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to (#129) Identify What You Can Influence

  1. Pingback: (#136) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2012 in Review « Steve Piscitelli's Blog

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