In my last post, we talked about the differences between powers of persuasion and the art of influencing.
So now you know why you want to become more influential, where do you begin?
Let’s take a look.
Yes, communication ranks top as always. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, communication is key.
Remember to listen as well as communicate clearly. Listening is a skill in and of itself, and I mean really listen. People can tell if you’re simply waiting for your turn to speak so practice your listening skills.
When you truly listen and respond, people will be more inclined to listen to you in turn. This builds trust and respect as well as making people feel valued.
Establish true connections with colleagues, management, and your team. It can be tough when members of your team work remotely, but managing connections with people doesn’t have to be a chore.
Ensuring you get one on one time with everyone will make all the difference in making strong and lasting connections.
Being consistent means just that. You have to have continuity so people feel a sense of ease as they know what to expect. If you lack consistency, it will lead to mistrust and people won’t know where they stand. This is disruptive and causes low morale. So make sure you’re reliable and trustworthy by being consistent.
And follow through. Following through on your promises will build trust and reliability, demonstrating that you’re someone others can count on.
Practice what you preach. If you want to lead by example, you must first set that example. You can’t expect others to do as you ask and not as you do, it’s not effective when trying to build that trust and influence.
So make sure you’re setting the bar and expectations by walking the walk yourself. After all, actions speak louder than words.
Be yourself – be honest – be genuine.
Again, this sets the tone for other’s expectations and gives them peace of mind. If you’re transparent and honest, people will be more inclined to trust you. Not only that, but your authenticity will make it easier for you to build strong and meaningful relationships in the workplace.
Encourage and inspire
As an influential leader you’ll be encouraging and inspiring to others. You’ll lift them up and help them out.
You can be generous with your time, your knowledge, your resources – there are plenty of ways to show encouragement and willingness to help. These acts of kindness will go a long way in establishing your role as an influential leader, as well as inspiring others to do the same.
Appreciate and value
Appreciation goes a long way in the workplace. Just a thank you or a word of acknowledgement can truly make someone’s day. It demonstrates that you value them and their efforts. It also makes you more approachable and your team will feel they can offer their opinions and insight, to which you will listen (see communication).
Demonstrate that you can compromise or negotiate by not being too rigid in your plan. Of course, a certain level of assertiveness is required at times, but when you genuinely value others, you’re more likely to be flexible when it’s needed.
Build skills and knowledge
Lastly, keep your skills and knowledge up to date. Being influential means being respected and effective and in order to do that you need to maintain your level of expertise.
Actively seeking out opportunities to better your knowledge and skills will demonstrate your willingness to contribute as a team player and a leader.
If you’re serious about wanting to learn how to develop your powers of influence, get in touch with us at Vivid Leadership. We offer personal, leadership, and group coaching as well as training and facilitation.
Our areas of specialism include:
- Leadership development
- Influencing and negotiating skills
- Resilience and well-being training
- Management skills
- Mid-value and major gift fundraising skills
- Fundraising training for Trustees