If you want to be effective and have an impact on your organisation it’s essential to have great influencing skills. Whether it’s to manage your team or to manage upwards, your job title alone isn’t enough to persuade and motivate others.
In today’s world where a lot of us are working from home, it can be difficult to influence at work but to be effective over the next few months it is even more important that you do.
A management consultant client I worked with was in exactly this position. As she wasn’t an employee she had no innate authority to get things done. That meant she had to influence and persuade the teams to take on her suggestions.
The turning point for her with her influencing skills was when she accepted that influencing isn’t about a fight or who wins or loses. It’s about gaining people’s hearts and minds rather than pushing them to take the action she wanted.
We worked on a lot of strategies together to build her influence and here are 3 of them.
Strategy 1: Inspiration
Think back over your work history, who has been the biggest positive influence on your career?
How did they influence you? Think about the behaviours they showed and how they inspired you. When you connect with that feeling it will motivate you to be an influencer yourself. This is called inspiration based influence at work and is proven to be successful.
Strategy 2: Build Rapport
Building rapport and being seen as likable is the starting point for influence. People need to trust you and want to hear from you.
To build that relationship, ensure you listen more than you talk. Use small talk to find common interests and have a positive mindset and body language.
If you can find out what their goals are for the meeting, project, or business you’re discussing. It allows you to link your proposal to their goal and so increase your chances of influencing them.
You may feel that building rapport with your usual team isn’t necessary in online meetings. However, people tend to be more polite and less themselves in a virtual meeting so it’s definitely worth spending the time on reconnecting.
Strategy 3: Objections Can Be Positive
If you’ve ever tried to influence someone to your opinion or idea and they’ve totally disagreed, then you’ll know how it can knock your confidence. But, remember any objection to your idea isn’t personally about you. They aren’t rejecting you as a person and if you take it that way you’ll become defensive and rapport will be lost.
Instead, treat any objection as a positive because it gives you insight into the other person’s thinking. You can then turn the objection into an action. For example, if the objection is about time and resources, you can investigate exactly what would be required and come back with a stronger proposal.
Learning about influencing skills is a huge area to explore and I hope these strategies give you a good start in developing yours.
If you’d like to learn more about having an impact in your career then watch my free webinar ‘The 4 Steps To More Impact And Recognition At Work Without Being Bossy Or Pushy”
Stay safe and well.