The #1 Secret to Building your Influence. It isn’t what you think.

Jeffrey Bonkiewicz
4 min readMay 21, 2021
Building your influence through being more curious and generous.

Nothing will help you to build value for people than to be as generous as possible with them. Be a giver, and keep giving. Focus on what you can give. Think deeply on it. Ponder it. And give away some of your best ideas because you’ll always have more of them. Help people solve problems. Help them get after what they want. Then, this will help you get after what you want most. We get whatever we want if we help enough people get whatever they want. We build this way. We solve this way. We coach this way. We train this way. We collaborate this way. And it all started with generosity, You looked out for others first. You served first. You gave value first. You put others first. And by putting others first, they won and you won. It turned into win-win for all. All of us, especially sales people, win by putting our prospects and customers first before us. The selfish salesperson is on his way out. The generous salesperson wins today. The one who takes people out. The one who solves problems. The one who focuses on relationships above the sale. The one who is genuine. The one who is creative. These are the business revenue kings, those who are the most generous. Generosity and curiosity win.

Most of us are not nearly curious enough. Most of us are far too focused on ourselves then we are on others. We’re quite self-indulgent. We barely take the Time to ask how peoples’ days is going. (Not that we’re sticking around for the answer.) Well, what if we ask more questions, and actually stick around for the answer!? How about that? Our attention is a wonderful gift to people in a world where no one is listening to anyone at all. People pay other people great money to listen to them without judgment. It’s called professional therapy, and it helps a lot of people feel heard. I’ve been saying for years that we will pay people great money in order to feel heard. This phenomenon continues. Well, what if you could do this for your customers? For your friends?

What we all want.

Your attention is a terrific gift for people in a self-indulgent world. We all want to be seen and heard. And if you can be the one to provide those two things for people, you will win far more often. Take the time to notice people, to acknowledge them, to make them feel seen, and they will want you to come back again and again to help them. You do this through curiosity, asking about them, asking about their businesses, asking about their vacations, asking about their kids, asking about their interests, hobbies and passions, and make genuine connections. It blows people away when you actually listen and make a legitimate connection. They often don’t want you to leave! They are in it to win it with you. All because you identified with them and led with curiosity. Leading with curiosity is a great way to build your influence with them. Why? Because the best way to get others interested in us is to first be interested in them.

Whatever emotion we’re lacking and we desire to have, we need to give that away. If you want to be seen, first see others. If you want to be take seriously, ask other people serious questions first. If you want to be seen as a leader, take initiative for others first. If you want to be creative, take creative actions each day first. Any quality you want to be known for or to possess, you simply act it out each day. Take that action even when it is hard. Get after that action. Go. Go. Go. Give. Give. Give. Be curious. Be a giver. Be an action taker.

Why doesn’t anybody care about my stuff!?

Most people won’t do this. They’ll just whine and complain that they don’t have creativity, that they don’t have any friends, that they aren’t allowed to take initiative. That they’re just not curious, creative people. That they have no idea how to get people interested in them. That they have nothing to offer others. (Really!?) That people just don’t get them. Their focus is on the wrong thing: inward, self-indulgent, me-me. They forget that nobody cares about their stuff until they first care about what other people want, what other peoples’ goals are, what other people stand for. That’s where they need to focus: on others’ needs and goals. That’s what gets attention and begins to build influence. It is truly amazing how fast we can turn things around — especially our own self-indulgent ways — when we focus on others. It turns around even the most curmudgeonly types because they’re finally getting outside of themselves and into others’ heads. That’s where we want to invest our time: in others’ heads, making them feel seen and heard. That’s our creative gift to the world: seeing people; acknowledging people; making people feel heard.



Jeffrey Bonkiewicz

I’m a sales, marketing and tech Pro who creates content designed to help people solve problems and shift perspectives.