What is Influence

WOI Winner Kathryn Hotte talks about making an impact

Kathryn Hotte, the 2017 Women of Influence Business & Professional award recipient says being influential is an essential component to business and your everyday life. “It’s the power to change or effect someone or something or the power to cause changes without directly enforcing.”

Kathryn says to be influential you have to first put yourself out there, “you can’t connect with anyone sitting at home or in your office. You have to find new opportunities to get out there and do that. There are many opportunities if you just look for them.” An element of influence that Kathryn excels at in communicating, “ask questions and listen to the [response]. Engage in the conversation, remember it’s always two-way; show some genuine interest when you’re out and about.” By being in front of people, you’ll become top of mind.

Which leads to your personal field, “build your reputation. It’s not bragging when you talk about your expertise. Offer help where you can.” As a small business advisor at the Rural Alberta Business Centre (RABC), Kathryn says sometimes you have to give free advice, “don’t always charge. You do have to run a business, but offer help where you can.” Encourage people and empower them.

“Live a clean life, take care of yourself and care about the way you look,” it’s starts with yourself, but that caring bleeds into your relationships, explains Kathryn, “respect yourself and respect others; and their opinions. Give them praise and congratulate them when they’ve achieved something.”

Say you have influence… what do you do with it? “You need to use your influence for good. We all want to make  difference and we all want to have a positive impact on the people we work with. I try my best not to engage in office politics, and general politics… if you can. You have to be really careful. Always try to stay away if you can,” Kathryn says this extends to gossip. Be careful of what your saying and hearing.

“Be a game changer. Go to sources that you wouldn’t typically think would have a solution for you, go outside the norm and get creative. That’s how you can build relations. Don’t just hand out your card, have a conversation and a connection,” Kathryn says connections are key in business. “Use your connections and if you know someone who can help someone else, connect them. Be helpful and do it professionally.”

The next networking session Kathryn encourages you to attend is Wisdom & Opportunities for Women (WOW) on Wednesday in Bonnyville. The female networking group will be discussing marketing at this month’s session. The group meets once a month, rotating between Bonnyville and Cold Lake locations. For more information on the session contact Kathryn at 780-594-1090.