This One Tactic Will Fast Track Your Credibility and Influence — Ignore it at Your Peril.

Don’t roll your eyes at me!

Bill James-Wallace


Photo by Marina Vitale on Unsplash

After so many years working in the corporate world, rising from a cashier at a bank, to Head of Human Resources at an international engineering company, I thought I had heard it all and learned most of it.

The problem was, I had started to believe my own BS.

I thought I knew the answers long before anyone asked the question.

I started to proffer solutions to problems that didn’t exist or weren't fully formed.

I started to doubt the value I could offer.

And then someone called me on it. Not directly, which made it worse.

They saw no value in my presence. None. Nil. Nada. Zilch.

What made it worse was this person held the purse strings. If they didn’t provide the funding, my role was toast!

What Do I Do?

I know I have value — but she can’t see it.

I have years of experience — but she didn’t care.

I had to change tact. How do I get her to listen to what I have to say, at least? Even if she rejects it!

I’d like to say I came up with this amazing strategy. Some goldmine of information.

But I only came up with two things:

  1. Listen
  2. Ask questions

This is where you roll your eyes and say something like:

“All this for that? Are you kidding me?” — you, to me!

I’ll admit it was quite humbling. But let’s not gloss over the meaning and message!


Influence doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time. It’s one interaction after another.

I started to listen a lot more, and talk a lot less.

I asked questions to confirm her thinking.

“So, you’ve just let the Test Manager go. Okay. What’s the plan?”

I needed her to tell me what was really going on before I started thinking about solutions.



Bill James-Wallace

I write about growth, self improvement and success! | Facilitator | Consultant | Tries to play golf. Runs a bit. | Interested in helping make life better.