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Become an MVP Influencer — Start By Caring What Others Think of You

Alex de Aranzeta, MA, JD
3 min readNov 30, 2018


WHOEVER SAYS that you shouldn’t care what others think of you is mistaken.

Now, think about this: can attributing value to how others perceive you, particularly your colleagues and bosses, actually drive workability?

Definitely, yes.

Let’s unpack this concept using a human-centered and interest-based mindset.

If you place value in others’ beliefs and perspectives about you, however right or misguided they may be or you believe them to be, you’re appreciating the the manner and degree to which your behavior impacts others and influences their perspective; and in turn, how they value you.

This kind of appreciation strengthens self-awareness — the ability to perceive your strengths and weaknesses clearly — which is the cornerstone to becoming an effective influencer and necessary for exercising empathy and building relationships founded on transparency and trust.

Try on a few strategies for your toolkit to become an M.V.P. Influencer — and start exercising empathy, modeling authentic leadership, and communicating how you want to be valued.

  1. [M] Message Memory Create a repository of the efforts made, their results and expected outcomes. Communications, messages and interactions won’t always go as planned, but by testing different approaches within and outside your comfort zone and tracking how they help, hurt or lack impact can help you identify your own influencing style, comfort level with conflict, boundaries, and personal or procedural challenges to decision-making.
  2. [V] Value Looping is a technique to empower and attribute value to the ideas of others (1) listen to a person’s idea or suggestion on a subject; (2) acknowledge the idea or suggestion without evaluating it; (3) affirmatively invite responses from others. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
  3. [P] Project Respect by being the person who you’d want to imitate, who you admire. When you become a role model, people notice and your fan base grows.

Here’s some starter tips:

  • Thank others for their contributions and invite contributions from all voices.
  • Stay positive — and give others the benefit of the doubt.
  • Focus on building a network of allies rather than excluding perceived adversaries.
  • Level-up on the work others do, their challenges and pipeline.
  • Get to know the whole person, particularly their passions and interests outside of work.

When you project your best self, you extinguish self-doubt and feed your self-confidence.

Remember, people are complex and above all, human beings. And humans work better together when valued.

Alex de Aranzeta, MA, JD (she/her) is a linguist and lawyer by training, and former Civil Rights compliance leader and conflict res practitioner by profession. Alex is an executive coach, and advises and consults tech companies, founders, and leaders on equitable and trusted AI. She’s also the host of a responsible AI podcast, The Culture of Machines, where she speaks with founders, ethicists, and experts on the intersections of respsonsible AI, society, and culture.



Alex de Aranzeta, MA, JD

Speaker, AI podcast host, and executive coach. Scaling strategy, storytelling, and equity in AI for the most innovative companies.