To influence is to have an impact on the behaviours, attitudes, opinions and choices of others. Influence is not to be confused with power or control. It’s not even about manipulating others to get your way. No matter who you are, where you work, or what your professional goals are, achieving more influence in the workplace is critical for success. You would agree that gaining influence on a team can help you work together more effectively. Likewise, gaining influence in a supervisory position can make you more respected and appreciated. And gaining influence in a meeting can make your voice more likely to be heard and acknowledged. A high performance manager or an highly effective leader ensures that the teams move into action not with coercion but by eliciting their desire and conviction in the vision and mission articulated by the leader. Confused or misused influence can bring about catastrophic business results. But a properly channeled-positive-influence can bring about great change. This helps all the individual actions align with group efforts to produce great business results towards an exponential growth. A leader or a high performance manager, who, through focused and deliberate effort, exerts positive influence on others, will build trust and become a true driving force toward business excellence. In modern day business scenario, a successful leader or a manager recognizes that in order to be effective they cannot rely solely on directive tactics. The outdated command and control method is rarely effective and often leads to strong resistance within the teams at work & across other functions of business.
Ken Blanchard has rightly said – “The key to successful leadership today is ‘Influence’ and not authority.”
You may continue to take as many initiatives as a high performing Individual in an organization but it is strongly recommended that you begin with this first step:
Being open to InfluenceThis is one of the quickest ways to increase your influence with others. This means – ‘truly demonstrating openness at all times’. Showing willing to listen to others’ ideas, invite and consider alternative viewpoints. Making use of others’ skills and expertise in every day work. By displaying openness you’ll begin to build respect & trust with others and that will certainly increase your influence. If you’re spearheading the initiative to build the environment of mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual teamwork at your work place – your colleagues and teams will surely see you as a leader and your opinions will naturally be heard, acknowledged and respected.
In the end, rather than giving you more solutions, I am leaving you with some questions:
- Why should you increase your sphere of ‘Influence’?
- How are you being ‘Influenced’ today at work?
- What area of your work would you like to ‘Influence’ in your business?
- How are you ‘Influencing’ others at this point of time?
- How much ‘Influence’ do you really have?
Manage your work, Be visible, Present well, Network well within & outside of business, Be ethical and honest, Exhibit patience, Display integrity to work – all these points are about building influence over a long period of time in a disciplined, systematic and thoughtful way. Influence – is just one among many important skills, but in my opinion it is THE-CORE-SKILL for every single individual in professional life & personal life. Chander Sharma PS : Reach out to us with your questions and our team will be too happy to offer more clarity.