Infinite Influence

Alyson Van HooserSeason 4Episode 10


Alyson Van Hooser, of Van Hooser Associates, shares the concept of Infinite Influence with a wonderful story of how somebody else exhibited infinite influence in her life.


Alyson Van Hooser

Alyson Van Hooser

Alyson Van Hooser, of Van Hooser Associates, is a Keynote speaker, leadership authority, and author. Having personally experienced the transformative impact of intentional leadership, Alyson is on a mission to develop highly effective leaders. She understands what it takes to effectively attract, retain, and influence a team to go all-in.

Despite a hard upbringing, Alyson learned the power of an ownership mindset which has led her to rapid success in business and in her role as a wife and mom of four.

Through keynotes and training, books and consulting, she guides existing and aspiring leaders to make changes that drive bottom-line results. Aligning radical responsibility with proven strategies for success, her down-to-earth style will hit the heart, open the mind, and push anyone forward in life!


Alyson Van Hooser (00:00):
What I know is back to that "roll your eyes or roll up your sleeves." Seeing that you serve somebody differently. You communicate differently, but you don't know... You don't know how to correctly lead someone unless you know their story. Otherwise, you find yourself making a lot of assumptions, treating people the way you want to be treated. When today's workforce is so diverse, they require a tailored approach.
Troy Blaser (00:27):
Hello, welcome to Simply Feedback, the podcast brought to you by LearningBridge. I'm your host, Troy Blaser. I'm super excited about our guest today. Our guest is Alyson Van Hooser of Van Hooser Associates. Let me just tell you a little bit about Alyson. She is a keynote speaker, a leadership authority, and author. Having personally experienced the transformative impact of intentional leadership, Alyson is on a mission to develop highly effective leaders. She understands what it takes to effectively attract, retain, and influence a team to go all in. Despite a hard upbringing, Alyson learned the power of an ownership mindset, which has led her to rapid success in business and in her role as a wife and model four. Through keynotes and training, books and consulting, she guides existing and aspiring leaders to make changes that drive bottom-line results. Aligning radical responsibility with proven strategies for success, her down to earth style will hit the heart, open the mind, and push anyone forward in life. Alyson, welcome to Simply Feedback. It's so good to have you with us today.
Alyson Van Hooser (01:35):
Thank you so much. I'm honored to be here today and can't wait to dig into some practical techniques that can teach you, the listeners, some value in how you move forward and interact with people every single day. I appreciate you. Glad to be here.
Troy Blaser (01:49):
Awesome. Well, maybe just to help us get to know you a little bit, because I, I, I love a good story. So I always like to ask you this question here on Simply Feedback. I wonder if there's a time you can think of where somebody gave you some feedback that maybe had an impact on your life or on your career, or whatever it might be, but kind of maybe was a turning point for you. Do you have a story you could share with us?
Alyson Van Hooser (02:11):
Absolutely. I, I, immediately, my mind goes to being in my twenties in the workforce and sitting down face-to-face with the CEO of a bank for my annual performance evaluation. Okay. I remember I was an employee that I'm guessing you and people listening to this podcast could probably say the same thing. So this is not me tooting my horn. This is just establishing a foundation, sort of just who I'm is whatever I commit to, I'm all in. So from a work perspective, I'm gonna show up every day. I'm gonna give it my best. I'm gonna do my best job for the organization, for the customer, and for myself. So when it comes time to have an annual review, I honestly, I look forward to it. And I didn't dread it very often, because typically I was gonna get, you know, above expectations, exceeds expectations, get a nice raise or a nice bonus, something like that.
Alyson Van Hooser (03:05):
Yeah. Not because I'm incredible, but simply because I just showed up with the mindset to do good every day. So, with that being said, I'm sitting across the desk from the bank, CEO, who I reported to at that time, and he's going through my performance evaluation, and as he's talking, he's saying, exceeds expectations, exceeds expectations. And like my chest is puffing up. I'm thinking, yeah, another good year. But then we were halfway through the conversation and he pauses, and I remember he sets down his notes on his desk, and he sort of scoots back his seat, and I noticed the red like creep up his neck. Mm-Hmm. And his face gets flushed. He's nervous, like beads of sweat forming on his forehead. I'm thinking, what's this all about? And he says, after a big swallow and a deep breath, Alyson, when it comes to appearance on your performance evaluation, it was hard for me to give you a score of average of meets expectations.
Alyson Van Hooser (04:20):
Oh, wow. He said, I was tempted to give you below. And as he's saying this, his voice is trembling. He's wildly uncomfortable. He and I have worked together really closely for years now. And so when he says this, even though he's nervous, my first reaction was I was, first, I was ignorant and immature in my twenties, I laughed like, whatcha talking about like me, my, my appearance. All of this rapidly going through my head, I'm thinking, this is not a man sitting there giving me a meets expectations on my appearance at work. But then suddenly I'm thinking, what's the catch here? Something's going on. I'm asking him, whatcha talking about? Sure. He said, his name is Tim. Whatcha talking about Tim? And he said, here's the thing, Alyson, when you're here, you do good work. He said, but consider for a moment, we're putting you in front of multimillion dollar clients and half the time you show up and you look like a million bucks, someone comes in to meet you, you look like you take care of yourself.
Alyson Van Hooser (05:25):
Of course you can take care of my money. But he said, another 50% of the time you show up looking like you just rolled out of bed, like with your hair up, no makeup on, and just disheveled. And he said, I wonder if I have customers, multimillion dollar customers coming in to meet with you. And they might pause for just a moment and think to themselves, she can't take care of herself. Can I trust her to take care of my money? Hmm. Yeah. That was feedback that I received that changed the way I thought about how important it is that I show up to every day, show up every day, prepared not to just do good work, but to look in a way that inspires somebody to trust and respect me, especially if I'm coming in as the youngest person in the room, as the underdog, et cetera.
Alyson Van Hooser (06:16):
And so from there, that feedback made me more intentional about how I show up from the inside out. And even now, you know, you mentioned that I'm a keynote speaker, I walk on stage. Typically my audiences are full of executives of companies, billion dollar companies, and I walk in and I'm the youngest in the room. Yeah. And there are people who right off the bat, if I don't earn their respect and their trust and a small part of that, whether we like it or not, the is what you look like, I've gotta have my act together. So feedback that helped me be a more successful professional, more successful business owner, hands down, it was not easy to hear, but it was valuable piece of feedback for me to get. Was that, that feedback right there, that it couldn't have been easy to give.
Troy Blaser (06:59):
I I was just gonna say, it probably wasn't easy to give either . Woo.
Alyson Van Hooser (07:03):
Can you imagine doing that?
Troy Blaser (07:05):
No. In fact, I'm thinking, why is this even on the performance review in the first place? But I guess in that instance where you're interacting with customers, right? Yep. As much as it, as we may think, oh, we've, our society has moved past that, it's still true. We all of us judge on appearance at first glance. Right?
Alyson Van Hooser (07:24):
It's so true. And you have to know your customer. There may be some who couldn't care less about that. Then there may be some, and we'll, we'll get to this when we talk about infinite influence later, there might be some who, if you want to earn their trust and respect, it's the little things like that, that you have those needs you have to serve in order to get them to go all in with you, for your good and for theirs.
Troy Blaser (07:44):
Yeah. Well, that's very interesting, a, a cool story to hear and and crazy kind of feedback to have to, to think about receiving and giving. So we've heard so far, you've, you worked at a bank, you know, you talked about that performance review, but currently you've talked about being a keynote speaker among other things and a book that you've written. Did you grow up wanting to be a keynote speaker? Was, or was there some turning point in your career that kind of got you on the path you're on now?
Alyson Van Hooser (08:12):
There absolutely was a turning point. I, I grew up without a mom. She left whenever I was really young and when I was 13, I'm giving you a little bit of backstory because it helps you understand the turning point. When I was 13, I was babysitting. I come home from babysitting, the parent dropped me off at my house and nobody was home. Not my dad, not my older brother, not my younger sister. And from there, I've been on my own. My dad was gone, and he never came back. No mom, no dad at home, no family. So I figured out how to get through high school and when I was growing up, way back in the 19 hundreds , everybody was saying that you need to go to college. So I went to college, college, got a business degree. I met my now husband when I was 15, so two years after my dad left.
Troy Blaser (09:02):
Alyson Van Hooser (09:03):
Ever since then, his dad, Phil Van Hooser, has sort of filled the father role in my life. When I was in my early, early twenties, right outside of college, I went through a leadership development training program that Phil led. He led in our community to develop emerging leaders. I went into that bank one day, used a process, a technique. He taught me to sell an idea to a decision maker. And it worked. The idea was to eliminate my position and restructure the organization. . I had no experience, no reason to bring that up. Some people thought I was cutting my feet out from under me, but it worked. They ended up restructuring the organization. I got an opportunity to work on projects that I never would have otherwise. And that bank, that CEO urged me to get involved in the community. I served as a city councilwoman for a couple of years in my twenties.
Alyson Van Hooser (09:59):
And at the end of that, I was at this crossroads, okay, do I go all in with politics and run for mayor and just do that full-time, forego the corporate world and do that? Or do I just back all the way out of it? Because as a city councilwoman, I was just dipping my toe into it. I didn't have a lot of, I didn't have a lot of decision making power. Sure. And so I called Phil, the guy who was filling the father role in my life, and I said, Phil, what do I do? What should I go into politics or stay in the corporate world? And Phil just very plainly said, Alyson, I've known you for a very long time, and I've told you since you were a teenager, that I think you've got a story to share. And now you have enough experience under your belt. I think there's a lot of people in this world you could help. I think we should go into business together. And I've got cold chills, even now as I say that .
Alyson Van Hooser (10:49):
It was an aha moment. It was like, you know what? Nothing else is an option, but this, this is now what I'm called to do. I can see how everything I've been through up to this point has equipped me for this today. So there was a turning point. There was a moment that I said, this is what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life. And now I continue to get confirmation that I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to, if there's anybody listening to this, that you arrive in a season where you can say the same thing that I'm doing exactly what I know I put here to do.
Troy Blaser (11:23):
That. That's so fantastic. And it's, it's wonderful to feel like you've found the thing that you're passionate about and you, and you get to do it every day, you know? Yes. That, that gonna work is not a, a drag. It's not the, you know, it's, it could be the highlight of your day instead of the, the low light of your day.
Alyson Van Hooser (11:41):
So true. And it, you with anything, it's not, it's not all roses. Would you agree? I mean, yeah,
Troy Blaser (11:47):
For sure. Sure.
Alyson Van Hooser (11:48):
Well, I love what I do. There's still moments where it's, it's work and you're dragging through the mud to create new ideas and get the word out there. But overall, yeah, I agree. It's great to come to work every day,
Troy Blaser (12:00):
. Well, that's cool. I wonder, can we talk, you mentioned one of your books, infinite Influence, you've, you've written a few different books though. If, if I've got 'em right. Level Up: Elevate your Game and Crush Your Goals is, is. Was that your first book?
Alyson Van Hooser (12:13):
That was my very first book, yes.
Troy Blaser (12:15):
Tell us about Level Up. Tell us what it's about, first of all, but then I wanna know too, like, why did you decide to write it ? Yeah.
Alyson Van Hooser (12:23):
Well, Level Up is very much a personal and professional development book. We're talking about all of the basics of how do we get our mind right? And then what is the foundation we need to move forward and be successful in the business world at work. I wrote that book initially in mind. I had in mind, you know, the, the person who's just coming out of high school and entering the work workforce, or the person who's coming out of college and entering the workforce. Someone in their early twenties who was about to embark on a journey. I was just leaving. I was entering my thirties when I wrote that book. Cool. But what's been interesting about that is that I hear from CEOs who say, oh my gosh, this opened my eyes from an emotional intelligence standpoint, from how to navigate conflict, from how to get my own mind, right?
Alyson Van Hooser (13:10):
So that I'm not stressed out at work as far as everything I have to do. So it's funny how we can have an intention to serve a certain group of people, but there's someone out there with a lot bigger dream than me for the work that I do, who is putting it in the hands of people and is having a bigger impact than I could have imagined now. Oh, that's cool. I, I didn't grow up wanting to be an author. Why did I write a book? If I could pull back the curtain for you for a second? As a keynote speaker, especially when I started, I started doing this when I was 28. I still at 34, I'm finding myself to be one of the youngest people out there speaking to business audiences. So writing my first book was almost it was like a resume builder. It was to gimme sort of credibility out there in the world. And all I knew to write about was what I, what I knew what I had experienced full of, of stories. Even that story I told about feedback and just how to handle the workforce in a post pandemic world.
Troy Blaser (14:11):
Well, I was gonna ask you too, you mentioned these CEOs that are saying, Hey, this book is really helping me out. I wonder if there is, is some element there of, from, from a generation to an older generation, you know, so in other words, you're writing about your experience in your twenties, but they're reading it in today's work environment that's different from when they were in their twenties. Is there something to that where they're getting benefit from someone who's just recently lived that,
Alyson Van Hooser (14:38):
Oh, I hadn't thought of it that way, you're causing me to think, but , you know, I guess there has to be, they, I wonder if some of them pick it up and they have an idea of how this is gonna go, but then when they see that my mindset doesn't fit, maybe what the typical millennial might have that maybe it causes them to engage with that book in a way that they might not would have otherwise. So I think you might be right.
Troy Blaser (15:05):
Well, let's talk for just a minute about Infinite Influence. You mentioned it earlier in your story about, you know, receiving feedback on your appearance. The full title, infinite Influence: Captivate, Connect and Compel Anyone, Anytime. That sounds like a, a captivating title. What's the book about?
Alyson Van Hooser (15:25):
This book will be the book that I'll talk about for the rest of my career. I don't know if Level Up will make it that far. I don't know if Accelerate Your Success will make it that far. But this book will. This book is something that found me and through the keynotes that I did delivering the talk about a, a keynote on Level Up, there's a whole middle section in Level Up that talks about own your awareness and being aware of all of the different types of people around you. In a world that's more diverse than ever. Today's post pandemic world, it is critically important that we understand the people around us, that we don't make assumptions about who they are, what they want, et cetera. Because if we make assumptions about people, I don't use profanity, so I'm not gonna do that. But you all know what happens whenever you make assumptions.
Troy Blaser (16:16):
Alyson Van Hooser (16:17):
Infinite Influence is a book about giving you a different paradigm for seeing people. When I talk about building infinite influence over time or in a moment, if you can influence the people around you to wanna have a stronger relationship with you, if we're talking about family or spouses, if you wanna influence them to not be upset with you, if you wanna influence them to buy from you, if you wanna influence them to support you or give you opportunity or partner with you, et cetera. The foundational perspective you must have in today's diverse world is an infinite influence perspective where you see people in terms of their paramount needs. Now, paramount needs is what this strategy hinges on. Let me give you an example. I might even tell you a story if you wanna hear it, Troy.
Troy Blaser (17:07):
I love stories. Hit me with a story.
Alyson Van Hooser (17:09):
Well, first, there's all kinds of motivational theory out there. I have been through every single leadership development program there is out there. If you know a big name leadership development program guarantee, I've been through it.
Troy Blaser (17:20):
Alyson Van Hooser (17:21):
However, also consider all of the personality tests that are out there. All of the big names, all of those we're still missing. We have a lot of good leaders out there doing good work, but they're still not getting the result that they want because they're missing the paramount need. And I think that this whole idea of servant leadership that became popular really in the late 1900s and the eighties and the nineties, even in the two thousands. We all agree in general, most people agree that people who hold a certain position, that leaders should work to do good for the people around them. But we have a lot of good people doing a lot of good work who get stressed out and burnout and never get the traction that they could if they uncovered and serve the paramount need. I'll give you an example. The most, most practical example of where I first saw this true in my life. Let me ask you a question first, "Did you have a teacher that made a difference in your life?"
Troy Blaser (18:15):
Yeah, I can think of a couple. Yeah,
Alyson Van Hooser (18:17):
Me too. But I'm gonna tell you about one. Okay. Her name is Ms. Christie Conger. I like to say there are no words. This side of heaven for Ms. Conger. She had, she's about my height, about five three if I had to guess. She has brown curly hair, light blue, icy beautiful eyes. She wears bright red or pink lipstick. I remember thinking she was so beautiful. She is so beautiful. She's not dead. She's not dead. She's,
Troy Blaser (18:43):
Alyson Van Hooser (18:43):
So beautiful. I remember her classroom smelled like red Starburst. I remember everything about Ms. Conger.
Troy Blaser (18:50):
Alyson Van Hooser (18:51):
Here's the deal about Ms. Conger though. Ms. Conger was a teacher. You insert your title, whether it's father, friend, executive manager, supervisor. You insert your title. Ms. Conger's was a teacher. In order for Ms. Conger to be successful, she needed her students to show up, learn and grow. The challenge was me, as one of her students, I was not showing up to school to learn and grow. Okay. Honestly, I was showing up to school for free food and safety.
Troy Blaser (19:19):
Alyson Van Hooser (19:19):
I knew that at least if I go to school, I'm gonna have breakfast and lunch. We qualified for that from a low income standpoint. Mm-Hmm. , I didn't always have dinner, but I knew if I went to school, I'd have lunch. And then safety back in those days, back in those days, like I'm so old. But back then we thought school was safe. You know, the narrative is shifting today, but school is safe. And at least I thought, you know, if I get myself up and I get myself on the bus, at least I can go and just breathe for a little while.
Troy Blaser (19:50):
Alyson Van Hooser (19:51):
And so her showing up, she could have been the best teacher in the world. You might be the best, technically the smartest in the room, et cetera. But none of that was convincing me to go all in with and help her achieve her goal, to be a better teacher, to get a promotion, to earn a raise. I wasn't learning and growing. And that was had nothing to do with her technical skills, but everything to do with, I had a paramount need and she wasn't serving it. But Ms. Conger did something that all of us can do. Miss Conger every day got to know each student's story. She would do something as simple as this. Listen carefully. She might start off the day and she would say something like, in 15 seconds, she'd say, last night I made Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner all throughout the day, I want each of you to come up to my desk and tell me what you had for dinner last night.
Alyson Van Hooser (20:38):
One by one, she'd call us up there and she would be listening for--she didn't have to give it this name; I'll give it this name--but she'd be listening for the paramount need. What's going on in this person's life? What's their story? What's their paramount need? Some kids would come up to her desk, no doubt. They'd probably say something like, Ms. Conger, I had baked chicken and asparagus last night, and my mom would only let me drink water. And it was gross. , something like that. So she hears this story and she's hearing mom, maybe probably dad at home too, eating healthy food. Okay. And the kid would go on, another kid might come up and they would say, well, it was my week to be at my dad's house, and I had to go to my stepbrother's ball game. So we had hot dogs last night. So she's hearing, okay, broken home was with the dad.
Alyson Van Hooser (21:25):
The dad made sure the kid was fed. They had a good time. The kid goes on. She called me up to her desk. And there were probably more times than not where I said something like, we had dinner at the neighbor's house last night, or maybe we didn't have anything to eat last night, but my dad let me stay out till the streetlights came on. Yeah. And she hears this story and she starts uncovering that, oh, I never hear Alyson talk about a mom. Maybe she doesn't have a mom at home. And she asks a different question later. All the while she's listening for what's most important to Alyson, how do I connect with Alyson? How do I influence Alyson to go all in in this classroom for her good and for mine? Mm-Hmm. , Ms. Conger did something and I'm, I can't give you all the details. We don't have time for it. But Ms. Conger came up to me one day and asked me if I wanted to say after school, and she'd fix my hair for picture day.
Troy Blaser (22:17):
Alyson Van Hooser (22:17):
Something that was way outside of her job description. Nowhere in the realm of something she should do. But leaders do the things that everybody could do, but very few are willing to take the action to get them that result. Long story short, I stay after school. She rolls up my naturally red hair. It's not red now, so if you're not watching video, I, but it's, she rolls it up in rollers. And I remember sitting at that desk with her and nothing else mattered. Nothing else seemed to matter to Ms. Conger but me. Yeah. Yeah. I remember she didn't try to multitask. She wasn't answering email while I'm talking. She wasn't looking at a watch. I remember her co-teacher, Stacy, poked her head in the room and said, Christie, and started to talk. And Ms. Conger never broke eye contact with me and just waved Stacy away. Not right now. Stacy, I'm with Alyson. How often do we miss moments to connect with people because we're trying to multitask or because we're so busy? Yeah. If we just stop what we're doing and give them our attention, they might for a moment think, I must be the most important person to you right now.
Troy Blaser (23:22):
Yeah, you probably felt that way.
Alyson Van Hooser (23:25):
Absolutely. But what ha... What was most the, the transformational moment for me was whenever I go to bed, I get up the next morning, I think I want my, my hair is curly. I had never seen it this way before. I remember as an eight-year-old little girl thinking, this looks so beautiful. Like how do I make this stay? And there was no mom at home. It was just my dad. And my dad back then was rocking the mullet hairstyle made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus
Troy Blaser (23:52):
I remember, I remember
Alyson Van Hooser (23:55):
It wasn't business in the front party in the back. His was party all over. Okay. So it was spiked up on top frosted tips. And I remember thinking, "That's not natural. How does he get that to stay, Troy?"
Troy Blaser (24:08):
Alyson Van Hooser (24:09):
And so I go digging around in the bathroom, I pull out a can of firm-hold mousse, and I squirt this mousse in my hand. It should puff up like shaving cream. But I didn't know how to hold the can. So it just puddled like water in my hand. And I take this wet liquid ,and I put it all over my dry hair. And I went back and looked in that mirror, and I no longer look like the girl that I thought was so beautiful. Instead, I look like a drowned rat . Honestly, I go to school because I have to. I'm freaking out. I'm anxious thinking Ms. Conger's gonna kill me. All I knew that in my family was, if the smallest mistake happened, everything hit the fan. Yeah. I'm thinking, what, what is Ms. Conger gonna do? I turned that corner down the third grade hallway. She's standing first door on the left, we meet eyes and she pauses like, obviously, just as I expected. That's all I have known. Like everything's hit the fan now. But in true Christie Conger fashion--let me say this. There may be some listeners that you're thinking, I do not get this at all from a hair perspective. You're about to get it from a heart perspective--
Troy Blaser (25:16):
Alyson Van Hooser (25:17):
Ms. Conger throws open her arms and just comes running to me saying, Alyson, you look so beautiful. And she pulls me in with both of her arms. And I can remember even right now, cold chills on my arms. I've told this story hundreds of times. I remember how that hug felt. I remember her arms around me because it changed my life. Because in that moment I thought, I wonder if this is what love is.
Troy Blaser (25:44):
Alyson Van Hooser (25:45):
Because I didn't know this at home. At home, I had thought, well, if this is love, I don't want anything to do with the family growing up. But I think now I'm sitting here talking with you. I'm a mother of four and a wife. And I think that dream started right then.
Troy Blaser (25:59):
Alyson Van Hooser (26:00):
And it only happened because I had a paramount need, not to learn. That was a need. Right. But my paramount need was to know that I mattered to somebody. And when that paramount need was met, even though how to go about meeting that paramount need was unorthodox, I suddenly started showing up to school differently. And here's the power of infinite influence. Yes, you have the power to change someone's life forever. Ms. Conger did that by serving my paramount need. But I work with business leaders. And imagine in that moment, I made a commitment to myself that from now on, because I know I mattered to Ms. Conger because she served my paramount need, I started showing up to school saying, how can I be great for Ms. Conger? What do I need to learn? Yeah. How do I be the first one to finish the spelling test, learn those multiplication tables?
Alyson Van Hooser (26:49):
Maybe I'll get in gifted and talented. That would make her proud. And here's what I say. When it comes to building infinite influence, how much more successful could your organization be if employees showed up every day saying, "How can I be great for Troy? How can I be great for Michael? Whatever it takes, I'm all in here." Yeah. And it all hinges on you making a few seconds to listen to somebody's story, uncover their paramount need, and they be willing to choose to take the action to serve that need. It may be something that you feel like you shouldn't have to do, but how it would it, how I have learned in my 34 years of life that you can roll your eyes or roll up your sleeves. Only one of those choices gets you good results. And so I think whether we're talking about family, community, or business, if you wanna make a difference with what you do every day, if you wanna make your work worth it, you'll be focused on the infinite influence strategy.
Alyson Van Hooser (27:43):
Get to know somebody's story, uncover the paramount need. It may mean I have to dress differently. Yeah. Hence, CEO saying, "If you want me to respect you more, if you wanna earn greater success here, you need to show up differently." I could've said, "This isn't fair. I shouldn't have to." But what I know is back to that, "roll your eyes or roll up your sleeves." Yeah. It's seen that you serve somebody differently. You communicate differently, but you don't know. You don't know how to correctly lead someone unless you know their story. Otherwise, you find yourself making a lot of assumptions, treating people the way you wanna be treated. When today's workforce is so diverse, they require a tailored approach. So, I'm sorry that story was so long, Troy, but I hope it was eye-opening into the power, the transformational power of the infinite influence mindset.
Troy Blaser (28:30):
Sure. Absolutely. I, it was a great story and thank you for sharing it. It's inspiring. It, it, I, I've had thoughts on like four different levels here as you were sharing that story. Number one, my wife is an elementary school teacher, so every once in a while, not quite the same kind of story, but I love to hear the stories that she shares with her, um you know, with the students that she interacts with. I spend time as a hobby. I, I coach our high school mountain bike team, and so I'm interacting with, with young men and young women. And so now I get to think about, okay, what are you doing, Troy, to find out their paramount needs? What kinds of questions can you be asking? All of that separate from work and professional life, you know like you said, it can affect us in, in our careers, in our community, in our families, all kinds of places.
Alyson Van Hooser (29:21):
I'm so glad that hit home for you. Thank you for sharing that with me.
Troy Blaser (29:24):
Yeah. I, as you know, thinking about, okay, so the, the podcast is Simply Feedback. What are some of the ways that you use feedback in the work that you do? Whether it's keynote or, you know, maybe it's coaching or teaching a training session. What are some of the ways that you use feedback in your work?
Alyson Van Hooser (29:42):
One of the best tools I have discovered to gather feedback as a speaker, so anybody can use this and it's free, is a tool called Talk A Dot. It allows me to get immediate feedback based on the presentation I just gave, asking them, was this valuable for you? What was your biggest takeaway? It's because I have sought out feedback that I came up with infinite influence. I didn't see the power of the story that was, that was, is now evident throughout my entire life. I didn't see it until I got feedback from other people until I said, will you please, if this was valuable for you, will you please take a moment to tell me what was good, what was bad, et cetera? And through that feedback, I think it allows us to just tailor what we do going forward to be more impactful. I think we all have a purpose in gathering feedback from other people, people we trust. Not always people we like, but people we trust. Right. And understanding how we're currently impact the world might laser focus us to have an even greater impact going forward.
Troy Blaser (30:42):
I love that. That's fantastic. Well, Alyson, is there, is there anything else you would share with our audience? Any other advice or tips, things that they should keep in mind as they're listening to our, our podcast today?
Alyson Van Hooser (30:55):
I think the only other thing I would say is that we talked a lot about infinite influence and thinking about what does someone else need from me in order to go all in. I would just encourage you to consider, there might be a story you need to hear, but even more importantly, there might be a story you need to tell. Mm-Hmm.
Alyson Van Hooser (31:13):
Right off the bat, I told you all a story. I don't know how that positioned me in your mind, but you might've come on here and heard this young southern accent and thought, well, what in the world is she gonna be able to teach me? But I hope that by the end of this podcast that maybe I've shifted your perspective about me a little bit. Maybe I've earned a little bit of influence with you through hearing my story. And so I would not, or I guess I would see, I would encourage you to seize the opportunity to say, what is the story that I need to tell about my own life? Because we all have one that might open doors to greater opportunity, greater impact that is far beyond anything I could have imagined at this point. I hope that for you, I want that for you. And just know that for you, Troy, for you, Michael, and anybody else listening to this, I'm wishing you huge success, huge impact, and I believe in you.
Troy Blaser (32:02):
Thank you. That's, that's fantastic. It's, I was just, I was just telling my colleague the other day in my life, I feel like I'm not a very good storyteller. I'm, I'm good at facts and history and figures and things like that, but when it comes to trying to tell stories about my own life, I feel like I'm not very good at it. So that's probably something that I can practice and I can work on and figure out ways to share my story in, in ways that will help influence somebody else for good. So
Alyson Van Hooser (32:27):
I love that.
Troy Blaser (32:29):
Well, Alyson, if, if somebody wants to know more, if they want to continue the conversation with you what should they do? Is that something you would be open to?
Alyson Van Hooser (32:38):
Absolutely. You can find out more information about the work that I do at or email, and we can start a conversation from there.
Troy Blaser (32:48):
Awesome. What a great friendly email. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for the time you spent with us today. I really enjoyed our conversation. I've loved hearing your stories. I, I, I said it earlier. I found them to be inspiring and so it's great to get to know you just a little bit. Thank you.
Alyson Van Hooser (33:06):
Thank you so much, Troy. I look forward to talking with you again soon.