What Maya Angelou Taught Me About Influence

One of my favorite sayings attributed to Maya Angelou is, “People forget what you say, they forget what you do, but they never forget the way you make them feel.” It’s a profound commentary on human nature that can help make us better influencers in every aspect of our lives. Here are a few ways to learn from this principle:

In Influence: Always remember to think from the perspective of the person you want to influence. What are their goals and objectives? What is their perspective?  Are you offering an idea that everyone will perceive as a win-win situation?

In Networking: You’ll build better relationships when people know you care. When you’re speaking with someone are you truly listening? Are you giving your undivided attention? Are you asking engaged questions and making them feel like the most important person in the room?

In Presenting: Connection is critical when you’re presenting to an audience.  Are you supplementing your facts with stories and relevant anecdotes? Are you taking time to build rapport with the audience before you introduce the complexities of your topic?

Are you a fan of the late Maya Angelou? What did you learn from her?


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