Do you know how to influence people? It has often been said that leadership is influence. If you are leading at have no one following, then you are just out for a walk. While it is imperative that you influence if you are in leadership, influence still has a 360 degree effect.
Regardless of where you are in an organization, you can influence co-workers, clients, and direct supervisors. Understanding the power of influence is an important career skill to master. Influence has the power to make things better, change areas that need changing, and eliminate inefficiencies wherever they exist.
How to Influence People at Work
So, let’s talk specifically about how to influence people at work. Here are 4 key principles for you to remember in regards to influence.
1. How you do things is just as important as what you do. Real Influence has nothing to do with manipulation, coersion, or intimidation. You may get an end result, but you have damaged the team in the process. If the machinery is left damaged, it will eventually stop producing. Organizations have bought into the lie that the bottom line is more important than the people and the talent that exists on their team. How you go about accomplishing the goal is just as important as finishing the task.
2. Listen more than you talk. Corporate America has a bad habit of writing up a vision, procedure, or plan without involving more people. I know why leaders do not do it. It makes them vulnerable. It makes the process longer. All of which, they do not want. However, there is something incredibly powerful that happens when an organization has buy-in vision. It starts by listening.
3. Show kindness. Genuine influence comes from real care for people. We have all heard it said, “People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Care comes from kindness. Why aren’t we more kind? Kindness comes in the “margin” of our lives. When we have over-scheduled, over-busy lives, we leave no room for kindness. Slow down and show kindness to others. Be helpful when they genuinely need your help.
4. Make other people feel special. We all know of someone that makes us feel special. They have a certain charismatic personality. They are happy to see us. They speak to us as if no one else is in the room. They make us feel like a million bucks. They make us feel as if they look up to us. Who are you doing that to?