Having the ability to influence others is an essential skill for success in any position. It allows us to motivate and guide positive change for both customers and employees. Effective leaders utilize their influence to inspire their teams, establish trust, and promote collaboration. This leads to a more engaged and productive workforce. Essentially, the power of influence is the key factor that enables leaders, regardless of their level or position, to create a shared vision, gain support, and have a lasting positive impact on both their teams and the broader contexts in which they operate.
But how do we build influence?
Building influence is a multi-faceted endeavor that involves improving a combination of skills and behaviors. To build greater influence, it's importan
t to focus on improving in the following areas:
Lead by Example: Demonstrating the behavior and values you wish to see in others is a fundamental way to build influence. When you consistently embody the qualities you promote, you earn the trust and respect of those around you.
Effective Communication: Develop effective communication skills, including listening actively, articulating ideas clearly, and tailoring messages to the audience.
Build Relationships: Cultivate and maintain meaningful professional relationships with colleagues, peers, and mentors to gain support, guidance, and opportunities for growth.
Demonstrate Expertise: Continuously improve and showcase your expertise in your field. Becoming a subject matter expert or thought leader in your area of interest can enhance your influence.
Embrace Empathy: Understand the perspectives and emotions of others. Empathy allows you to connect with people on a deeper level and build trust.
Seek Feedback and Adapt: Be open to feedback and willing to adapt and learn from your experiences. This shows humility and a commitment to personal growth.
Share Credit and Acknowledge Contributions: Acknowledging the contributions of others and sharing credit when things go well fosters goodwill and enhances your reputation as a team player.
Navigate Conflicts Effectively: Develop conflict resolution skills to maintain positive relationships and resolve issues.
It's Critical to Remember
Having a higher level of influence can increase an individual's likelihood of succeeding in their work and life. This is because influential individuals are more capable of guiding and motivating others, building strong relationships, and effectively navigating complex situations. Their ability to lead by example, foster innovation, resolve conflicts, and leave a lasting impact sets them apart as significant contributors to their organizations and communities.
It's important to understand that building influence is a long and gradual process that requires patience and dedication to personal and professional growth. Creating a well-defined strategy around these core areas is crucial, as it allows you to monitor your progress and adjust as necessary. Additionally, having a mentor can be incredibly valuable. A mentor can offer valuable insights, share their experience, and provide constructive feedback, all of which can help you accelerate your journey toward building influence. So, with determination, take on this journey, knowing that your investment in cultivating influence will not only benefit you but also those you inspire and lead along the way.
Would you like to hear more perspectives on this subject? I recommend listening to the ACN Podcast episode on influence:
Looking for a mentor? nuAgility offers consultations with mentors and coaches.