Building Clout: For When We Mess Up
At my high school, we were only allowed to buy homecoming tickets the week before homecoming – they weren’t sold at the door. My date was supposed to buy our tickets, but on Friday night, I found out he’d forgotten them.
There’s a point to my story , I promise.
So, we had no tickets, but as an active member of the student council, I was able to call the officers and ask for a favor.
Because I’d spent hours of my time building clout – volunteering, decorating, showing up on time – the officers knew my face and believed me when I told them I’d made an honest mistake (or that my date had).
Tips for Building Clout:
- Show Up Early – to your meetings, to your volunteering commitments, to everything. Building clout is about showing your face – in a good way – not by sneaking in through the back door, late. If you arrive early, it will help you feel more settled, and give you a chance to say hello to everyone else.
- Stay Late – help clean up, be friendly, and offer to give rides home (if you can). Building clout is also about being as useful as possible when you’re around.
- Be Vulnerable – if you’re feeling shy or nervous or overwhelmed (especially if you’ve joined something new), say so. If you’re new, casually mention you’d love to make new friends. If you’re feeling stressed about school or work or whatever, chances are, so is everyone else. Speak up! It will help you make friends and build trust. According to Forbes, being open and honest is the first step to building trust. being Building clout is about connecting to others, being available, and being dependable.
When you’re involved in a lot of activities, it can be hard to juggle it all.
Things can come up – sickness, over-committing, double-booking, exams, a hundred other things. When you’ve done your time, shown up, and done the work, you’re in a lot better position to ask for an exception or forgiveness when you make a mistake. When you’ve spent time building clout – developing trust – people are much more willing to help you out.