The power of influence cannot be underestimated. After all, regardless of where you work or your professional goals, gaining more influence in the workplace is essential for success.
For instance, when you gain influence on a team, you can work together more efficiently. You can earn respect and appreciation if you’re in a supervisory position. Or, by gaining influence in a meeting, you are more likely to have your voice heard.
Influence can be highly beneficial. As with any skill, though, gaining it requires time and dedication. The good news is that you can cultivate this characteristic in various ways. And, when you grow your influence, you’ll also become a better leader.
1. Let your passion shine through.
Passion is contagious. No matter how hard you try, you can never fake passion. There must be an element of truth and authenticity in it.
Also, in their book The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner write, “If a leader displays no passion for a cause, why should anyone else care?” What’s more, according to research, forward-looking leaders are admired most. In addition to having a vision, a leader must be capable of communicating it and getting others excited about and supportive of it as well.
Overall, leaders who share their enthusiasm and excitement influence others.
2. Create opportunities for success.
Whenever possible, give your employees situations leading to a series of small wins. Why? It’s through these wins, their potential can be maximized. After all, a leader who understands challenges and turns opportunities into wins is admired by those who have helped their people stretch.
It is important to remember that true leaders inspire others to perform at their best.
3. Start listening.
This is non-negotiable. Learning how to communicate and influence others requires listening. Regardless of your stance on a discussion topic, listen carefully to what the other person has to say.
Further, you can bond with your coworker better if you hear their thoughts before arguing. You may find that your mind changes as a result. Also, you will create a feeling of belonging for others by listening to and acknowledging them.
4. Adapt your message to your audience.
“To persuade and influence people, you need to win both hearts and minds,” write Luis Velasquez and Jenny Fernandez in HBR. To achieve both, though, you must communicate effectively with your team. However, each of us has a preferred way of communicating that is specific to our style and tends to favor either the mind (like telling a story in order to make your point) or the heart (like providing plenty of evidence to support your point), they add.
To make sure you reach your audience, you need to tailor your message to address their needs specifically.
“All too often, we’ve seen people focusing on the content they are sharing rather than on how they are delivering it,” the authors state. “The reality is not everyone is motivated by feel-good messages or data alone.”
According to Velasquez and Fernandez, when getting to know your new boss, management team, or direct reports, ask them the following questions:
- “What is most important to you?”
- “What does good look like to you?”
Identify their communication style, behavior, and values by asking:
- How do you stay motivated?
- Who or what inspires you?
- What is your most outstanding achievement?
Your influence will increase substantially once you understand their motivations and customize your message accordingly.
5. Practice humility.
Being humble allows you to see your worth as well as others, to see your mistakes, and to see the needs of others as equally important. When managers acknowledge that everyone is equal, team members respond positively.
Additionally, humility aids one in expressing compassion and empathy for others. Being humble can also help you develop a more profound and evolving view of the world. Furthermore, humility contributes to self-awareness and self-growth, allowing one to rationally acknowledge ways to improve oneself.
6. Be an advocate.
Leaders, without a doubt, are advocates for those who follow them. After all, leadership is all about empowering others to achieve a common goal for a promising future.
Furthermore, Dani Johnson writes in MIT SMR that advocacy has been shown to boost employee retention and productivity through research and conversations with leaders across various companies. In addition, it enhances relationships both inside and outside the organization, which helps the organization grow.
7. Help enhance others.
The more you mentor and coach your team members, the more influence you have. After all, advancement may be difficult for some people because they do not know how to go about it.
Additionally, when you assist others in discovering and developing their strengths, you can help them enhance their skills and knowledge.
8. Opportunities abound, but few see them.
Leadership is about seeing beyond the obvious and opening your eyes to new possibilities. Having a circular vision is a leadership requirement, and when complacent, we only notice what is obvious rather than what lies beneath, around, and beyond. This results in a stagnant mindset because your perspectives aren’t stretched enough to see beyond your own viewpoint.
If this happens to you, you should reshuffle the deck and determine what internal and external factors affect your thought process. Begin by identifying areas where you can improve – such as relationships, workshop culture, networking, and how you invest in yourself (or don’t).
True success is not a result of experience, but instead of opportunity. As such, manage the option more mindfully before it manages you.
9. Be a servant.
Serving others is the core component of servant leadership. Rather than doing everything everyone tells you to do, do what people need you to do to make the job easier and more efficient for them.
A servant leader listens to his or her team members’ needs. By listening carefully to what they have to say, you can address their concerns. By actively listening to your employees, you demonstrate your commitment to supporting their work and valuing their opinions.
As a servant leader, you must also work for your team. By doing everything in your power to ensure that they have the tools, resources, and support they need to succeed, you are putting their needs first.
Servant leaders empower their team members to take responsibility for their work and make their own decisions. Your employees will feel respected and trusted when you trust them and believe in their abilities when you give them the freedom to choose for themselves.
10. Make a real connection with others.
To increase their influence, leaders need to connect with their people and relate to them effectively. Developing relationships is the basis of influence, and connecting with people is the beginning of that process.
You can reach out to your team by holding a morning coffee meeting or a five-minute standup, for example. Colleagues can also reserve time on your shared calendar for longer check-ins.
11. Be yourself.
Communicate honestly, transparently, and openly with your colleagues.
People admire the ability to be vulnerable and authentic. Furthermore, it makes you more relatable and easier to create meaningful relationships.
Additionally, employees are adept at sniffing out untruths and empty words in today’s workplace. Lying, coddling, or telling half-truths to your employees will damage your company’s brand and your reputation as a leader.
12. Display competence.
You’re more likely to get your employees to follow your lead if you demonstrate your knowledge. As you gain expertise in your field, share it with your team members so they can excel as well. During a meeting, you could share the highlights of continuing education courses you attended in your field.
13. Maintain consistency.
Make sure others can count on you. The key to achieving that is consistency.
14. Make effective use of nonverbal cues.
A leader must consider both what he or she says and how he or she says it. If you want to ensure that your message is conveyed effectively to your team, consider the following:
- Keep your body language in mind. Nonverbal messages such as slouching, crossing your arms, and tapping your foot can negatively affect others. Maintain a relaxed body, open arms, and head up.
- Maintain eye contact. To exert influence, looking other people in the eye when you talk to them is essential. Keeping eye contact with others can help them focus on what you’re saying.
- Tell stories. Incorporating examples into a story format helps keep the listener’s interest. As a result, employees are more likely to remember what you say.
15. Lead by example.
An inspiring leader has clear, strong goals and can achieve them. If you set the right example, you may be able to influence your team’s behavior. Your team will recognize your honesty and ethics when you follow the rules you set.
In other words, be the type of person you want others to be. For a team to succeed, you must also have high expectations for yourself.
How do you define leadership?
In order to be a successful leader, you must know how to guide a company, organization, or group. Goal-setting, motivational strategies, and assessment are ways leaders help their organizations achieve their overall goals. Leaders can work independently or in teams.
Strong leadership motivates people by empowering them and improving their work environment. This is done by empowering them, improving their work satisfaction, and accommodating their needs.
Why is leadership a must?
Leadership improves organizational performance by inspiring and motivating individual employees and teams. To achieve their objectives, successful leaders consider the needs of their organization, employees, and members.
Leadership can, for example, contribute to increased profits, enhanced retention, and comprehensive recruiting efforts by motivating employees and making their workplace enjoyable and rewarding.
What is influence at work, and why is it important?
Team members have a certain level of influence in any workplace. However, the most influential people tend to be those with higher titles. It is especially applicable to corporate cultures, which can influence the behavior of employees.
Let’s say, for example, that a leader leaves the office on time to pick up their children. Their employees will likely follow this. The result may be a happier home and work life for them.
In addition to leaders and how much time they spend at work, being an influencer at work has many other advantages. Influence in the workplace has the following benefits:
- Your chances of getting noticed, promoted, and promoted are higher. A person with influence stands out in a crowd. As a result, your work is more likely to be mentioned by managers and peers. Consequently, promotions and raises can be obtained more quickly.
- Teamwork improves. Influential people can create a sense of belonging in a group. Working together will be easier and happier when everyone feels included in the team.
- Coworkers and managers will become closer to you. People who are influential at work are respected. As a result, relationships can be formed more easily and maintained more effectively.
How can leaders use influence to their advantage?
In an organization, a leader can motivate people and achieve objectives using these three influence types. For instance, keeping order in the workplace requires employees to follow their supervisor’s rules. Similar to imitation and following, identification occurs when individuals imitate and follow people they respect and admire, such as a more experienced coworker. A leader’s vision and values become internalized when employees embrace them and commit to achieving them.
The purpose of this type of influence is to motivate followers to accomplish tasks and achieve goals by encouraging their actions and behaviors. Each type of influence has a different effect on individuals. The perception of others may motivate some workers to identify the cues that guide their behavior. People who want to internalize values may want to believe sincerely in what they do. There are many sources of influence in organizations and in most aspects of life. Therefore, how others communicate with us and how we see them can influence our behavior.
Image Credit: Rebrand Cities; Pexels; Thank you!